Laryngectomy is partial or total removal of the voice box (larynx). The larynx allows air to pass through the vocal cords, which allows you to speak and breathe. After having a laryngectomy, you will no longer be able to speak normally or breathe out of your nose and mouth. Instead, you will have an opening (stoma) in the front of your neck that you will use to breathe and communicate.
Laryngectomy is commonly done to treat cancer of the larynx. If cancer has spread (metastasized) to the lymph nodes in the neck, lymph nodes may be removed from one or both sides of the neck. Lymph nodes are part of the body 's disease-fighting (immune) system.
LET YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER KNOW ABOUT:
• Any allergies you have.
• All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
• Previous problems you or members of your family have had with the use of anesthetics.
• Previous surgeries you have had.
• Any blood disorders you have, such as a history of bleeding problems or blood clots.
• Any medical conditions you have, including diabetes and kidney problems.
• Whether you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, problems may occur, including:
• Allergic reactions to medicines or dyes.
• Damage to other structures or organs.
• Difficulty swallowing, speaking, or breathing.
• Problems with your stoma.
BEFORE THE PROCEDURE
• Ask your health care provider about:
○ Changing or stopping your regular medicines. This is especially important if you are taking diabetes medicines or blood thinners.
○ Taking medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen....
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• Your incision may be covered with a bandage (dressing).
The procedure may vary among health care providers and hospitals.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
• You will have some pain. Pain medicines will be available to help you.
• Your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored often until the medicines you were given have worn off.
• Do not drive for 24 hours if you received a sedative.
• You will continue to receive fluids, nutrition, and medicine through an IV tube.
• You may continue to have:
○ A nasogastric tube in your nose or mouth.
○ A catheter draining urine from your bladder.
○ One or more drains draining excess fluid.
• The head of your bed will be kept at an upright angle.
• You will have a humidified oxygen mask over your stoma.
ExitCare® Patient Information ©2012 ExitCare, LLC.
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