Permanent Opening in the neck after removal of voice box

Malignant tumour or lumps on the voice box (Larynx) frequently occur in middle aged people, who have a history of smoking and drinking alcohol. Lesions develop on the vocal cords (Glottis) and the upper part of the larynx, which is located above the vocal cords (Supraglottis). Cancerous cells grow from flat cells that are located on the surface of the throat / larynx (Squamous Cell Carcinoma). This is the most common type of malignant growth in the head and neck. Treatment Radiotherapy is used to kill small malignant tumours in the voice box (Larynx) in many cases although some surgeons are advising the use of the laser to remove small tumours, there is still some debate regarding this form of treatment. If radiotherapy is unsuccessful or the cancer is recurrent, then surgery is recommended to remove some or all for the voice box (Partial or Total Laryngectomy). Many patients undergoing laryngectomy will retain voice , either through developing oesophageal speech or the use of a small ‘valve’ that is placed at the time of surgery.

Patient after removal of Voice Box (Larynx)

This picture shows a patient after major head and neck surgery for cancer of the voice box.There is a nasal tube to feed a liquid diet until the wounds are healed. Patient cannot talk hence a bystander is necessary in the immediate post operative period.