Surgery for laryngeal cancer

Doctors use different types of surgery to treat laryngeal cancer. It can be used to remove the cancer, to try and cure the cancer or to relieve its symptoms (palliative surgery).

Types of surgery for laryngeal cancer

The main types of surgery for laryngeal cancer are laser surgery through the mouth, removing the voice box (larynx) and removing lymph nodes.  

Laser surgery through the mouth for laryngeal cancer

A laser is a very thin, focused beam of light. The surgeon directs it at the tissue with cancer cells. The beam of light cut, burn or destroy the cancer tissue.

Surgery to remove the lymph nodes in your neck

You may have surgery to remove lymph nodes on one or both sides of your neck.

Going into hospital

You’ll probably go into hospital on the day of your operation. For small early stage cancers, most people can have day surgery or stay overnight. For larger cancers, your may need to be in hospital a few days.

Preparing for surgery

What happens before your operation will vary slightly depending on exactly where your cancer is and the type of operation you are having.

On the day

Your nurse will help to get you ready for surgery before you go to the operating theatre.

After laryngeal cancer surgery

After a big operation, you wake up in the intensive care unit or a high dependency recovery unit. You usually move back to the ward within a day or so.

Last reviewed: 
22 Oct 2021
Next review due: 
22 Oct 2024
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