A laryngectomy is a full or partial removal of the voice box (larynx).

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Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to nearby structures
  • Problems speaking
  • The need for repeat surgery

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.


American Cancer Society 

National Cancer Institute 


Canadian Cancer Society 

Health Canada 


Chow LQM. Head and Neck Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 2;382(1):60-72.

Laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Accessed December 7, 2020.

Management of head and neck cancer—based on cancer site. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed December 7, 2020.