Oncology Program

What is a laryngectomy?

Laryngectomy is the term for the surgery to remove the larynx or voice box. It is usually done for treatment of cancer of the larynx. When the voice box is removed, the vocal cords are also removed. This means that the patient undergoing the surgery will lose their voice permanently. The NSHSC S-LP services include establishing the optimum ways for communication.

What is TEP?

TEP stands for tracheoesophageal puncture. It is a surgical procedure to restore voice after laryngectomy surgery. It is usually done at the time of the laryngectomy surgery.

What are the typical assessment procedures?

Laryngectomy patients are seen before the surgery by the NSHSC speech-language pathologist (S-LP) to learn about the surgery and what to expect after surgery. After surgery, the S-LP will work with the patient and family to find the best method of restoring voice. These include use of an artificial larynx, esophageal speech and tracheoesophageal puncture. The S-LP will provide consultation support to your community S-LP to facilitate clinical follow-up.

Who can be referred?

Anyone who is having a laryngectomy procedure or other form of treatment for cancer of the larynx (radiation, chemotherapy) can be referred.

Who can refer?

Laryngectomy patients are usually referred by the ENT specialist performing the surgery or another member of the care team.

Who should be contacted with the referral?

Referrals can be sent by mail to:

Nova Scotia Hearing & Speech Centres
Dickson Building
5820 University Avenue, 3rd Floor, Room 3084
Halifax, NS  B3H 1V7

Alternatively, referrals can be faxed to (902) 473-7313.