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anatomy of the larynx before a larynectomy

A laryngectomy is the surgical removal or partial removal of the larynx and is one of the treatments for laryngeal cancer. The main goal of a total laryngectomy is to remove the cancer entirely, while a partial laryngectomy removes the part of the larynx affected by the cancer.


The operation is relatively rare, typically only performed if radiotherapy or chemoradiation isn’t likely to take care of the cancer entirely.

Surgical Procedure

Partial Laryngectomy

Your surgeon will make an incision in your neck to remove the affected part of the larynx. Since you will still have part of your larynx, you should be able to speak, although your voice is likely to be weak or hoarse.


Total Laryngectomy

After your surgeon makes the incision, s/he will remove the entire larynx, which means there will no longer be a connection between your nose, mouth, and lungs. You will breathe and speak differently after the operation – through an opening in your neck, which is called a stoma.

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