Laryngectomy is major surgery that is done in the hospital. Before surgery you will receive. You will be asleep and pain-free. Total laryngectomy removes the whole larynx. Part of your pharynx may be taken out as well. Your pharynx is the mucous membrane-lined passage between your nasal passages and esophagus. The surgeon will make a cut in your neck to open up the area. Care is taken to preserve major blood vessels and other important structures. The larynx and tissue around it will be removed. The lymph nodes may also be removed. The surgeon will then make an opening in your trachea and a hole in front of your neck. Your trachea will be attached to this hole. The hole is called a stoma.
After surgery you will breathe through your stoma. It will never be removed. Your esophagus, muscles, and skin will be closed with stitches or clips. You may have tubes coming from your wound for a while after surgery. The surgeon may also do a tracheoesophaheal puncture (TEP). A TEP is a small hole in your windpipe (trachea) and the tube that moves food from your throat to your stomach (esophagus). Your surgeon will place a small man-made part (prosthesis) into this opening. The prosthesis will allow you to speak after your voice box has been removed. There are many less invasive surgeries to remove part of the larynx. The names of some of these procedures are endoscopic (or transoral resection), vertical partial laryngectomy, horizontal or supraglottic partial laryngectomy, and supracricoid partial laryngectomy.
These procedures may work for some people. The surgery you have depends on how much your cancer has spread and what type of cancer you have. The surgery can take 5 to 9 hours.
My dad had this done in his late 30 s which was almost 20 years ago now so I am no expert but here is his experience. He had cancer in his larynx and thyroid. The procedure was an absolute last resort after chemo and radiation failed to kill all the cancerous cells. Both were removed as well as a section of his trachea, so they created the neck stoma for him to breath from.
There are several options in terms speaking afterwards. The most common one I ve seen in media is the electrolarynx, a device pushed against the throat to pick up vibrations but it makes you sounds very robotic. What is neat is anyone can use it, I have and its pretty cool. My dad however uses a prosthetic that is inserted into the stoma which he blocks with his finger when speaking. Something people often find shocking since they don t think of it until they see it, is that he coughs and sneezes from the stoma (and yes thats where his snot come out too). I know this isn t all directly answering your question but I thought you might find it interesting.