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Larynx Cancer Surgery, London

Larynx Cancer surgery may involve partial or total removal of the larynx (laryngectomy), portions of the subglottis or supraglottis or removal of just the vocal cords (cordectomy). In some patients, the thyroid gland may also be removed. Partial laryngectomy allows surgeons to preserve speech.

Types of Laryngeal Surgery:

Supracricoid Partial Laryngectomy - the supraglottis, vocal cords and thyroid cartilage are removed, while sparing other structures needed to swallow and produce speech

Transoral Laser Microsurgery (TLM) - uses a flexible hollow-core fiber to transmit CO2 laser energy and remove small tumours

While advanced techniques are helping preserve normal function, patients who have had their entire larynx or vocal cords removed will lose the ability to speak or breathe efficiently.

There are several options to restore speech:

• A special valve implanted between the trachea and oesophagus (food pipe), which eliminates the need for an electrolarynx
• Intensive speech therapy to learn how to use the esophagus for speaking
• Using a handheld vibrating device (electrolarynx) to produce sounds and words

Other Larynx Cancer Treatments

Chemotherapy drugs can be used to help shrink the tumour before surgery or to kill lingering cancer cells after surgery and/or radiation treatment.

A combination of chemotherapy and radiation may be used as a primary treatment for patients with larger tumours or those who cannot tolerate surgery for specific reasons.