A cut will be made in the skin on your neck. The muscles that are attached to the voice box will be separated. The voice box and tissue around it will be removed.
A partial laryngectomy may be done. The doctor will remove the tumor and only part of the voice box. If you have this, you may keep some normal speech or swallowing ability.
A tracheostomy will allow you to breathe during and after surgery. This is an opening (called a stoma) from the outside of your neck to your windpipe. A tube is placed into the stoma so you can breathe. Drainage tubes will be inserted to drain blood and fluid. Lastly, the muscles and skin closed with stitches or clips.
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Medicines will ease pain afterwards.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 7-14 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if you have problems.
At the Hospital
You may have:
An oxygen mask over the stoma.
Nutrition and medicines through an IV.
A speech pathologist or doctor assess your ability to swallow. Depending on the results, you will progress to soft foods.
You may need to wear boots or special socks to help prevent blood clot formation in your legs.
Learn how to:
Use a call bell and message board to communicate.
Keep the head of your bed raised.
Move your legs while in bed to increase circulation.
Learn to care for your stoma and tracheostomy tube, which includes:
Using a mist hood over the stoma
Keeping water out of the stoma
Covering the stoma with a shower hood when showering
The drains removed in about 5 days. The stitches will be removed in about 1 week.
To help you heal faster at home:
Avoid lifting heavy objects and doing strenuous activity for up to 6 weeks.
Participate in a speech rehabilitation program. You will need to learn how to speak again. The program may involve speaking by:
Swallowing air and expelling it—esophageal speech
Using an electronic device—artificial voice box
Installing a valve in the stoma to allow air from the lungs to reach the esophagus—tracheoesophageal speech
The throat tissue will heal in about 2-3 weeks. Complete recovery will take at least a month. You may notice a reduction in your sense of taste and smell. You will continue to use the stoma for breathing.
Most people are able to return to their jobs and past activities, except for swimming.
You may be referred to a
to help you to cope with the surgery.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
Fever or chills
Redness, swelling, pain, excess bleeding, or pus from the wound
Nausea or vomiting
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you were given
Coughing, breathing problems, or chest pain
Headache, muscle aches, or lightheadedness
Stoma is getting smaller
Saliva is leaking through your wound
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
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