Laryngectomy is a surgical procedure that involves complete or partial removal of the voice box (larynx).
Total Laryngectomy involves removal of the complete larynx. A part of the pharynx may or may not be taken out. Pharynx is the mucous membrane-lined passage between your nasal passages and esophagus. A patient who has had this surgery will need to help with swallowing, breathing and talking.
There are a few less invasive techniques that can help patients depending on the severity of their case. These are: endoscopic (or transoral resection), vertical partial laryngectomy, horizontal or supraglottic partial laryngectomy, and supracricoid partial laryngectomy.
Stopping blood thinners, at least 10 days before the surgery
Strictly stop smoking and alcohol, at least a week before the surgery
Consulting a speech therapist to prepare for post-op
Laryngectomy is a major procedure performed by an experienced head and neck surgeon. It is performed under general anesthesia and may take upto 5 to 7 hours.
After anesthesia is administred, during the procedure,
The surgeon makes a cut in the neck. Special care is taken to preserve major blood vessels.
The larynx and surrounding tissues are removed. Nearby lymph nodes may be removed.
Next, an opening is made in the trachea in front of the neck. This will help with breathing after surgery.
The esophagus, surrounding muscles and skin will be sutured.
The surgeon may also opt for a tracheoesophaheal puncture (TEP) where a small hole in the trachea is made and a small prosthesis is placed. This helps the patient speak after the larynx has been removed.
After the procedure is complete, the patient will not be able to speak. IV Line will be administered to fulfill the nutrition requirement.
The patient can swallow semi-solid food after 2 to 4 days. Generally, the patient is discharged within 7 days.
Regular followups with speech therapist will be required.
Risk and Complication
Laryngectomy involves the following risks and complications:
Problems in swallowing or eating
Reaction to anesthesia
Bleeding or Blood clotting
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