You’ve been diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, and now you’ve learned that you must have surgery as part of your treatment plan. If this is the situation you’ve found yourself in, you are probably left with a number of questions: Why did this happen to me? How will having surgery impact my life? To start, it may be helpful to know you aren’t alone. Receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing surgery is a big deal, and it is perfectly normal to be left feeling anxious about what is to come.
Some patients find that learning about their cancer, their surgery and their surgeon helps them go into their surgery feeling as ready as possible. To help you better prepare for your laryngeal cancer surgery, here are some questions you can ask your physician:
- What procedure am I having and why is it the best option for me?
- How much of my voice box will be removed during surgery?
- Who will be performing my surgery and what are his/her qualifications?
- What will the recovery be like following my surgery?
- What are the potential complications and side effects of my surgery?
- Will my surgery affect my ability to speak?
There are also a number of physical preparations you can make to help the entire process of having surgery go as smoothly as possible. For example, before your surgery, you should:
- Arrange for a trusted friend or family member to check on your home or pets while you are recovering in the hospital.
- Pack an overnight bag with clothes, games, music, books and other items to keep you comfortable and distracted.
- Arrange any at-home care you will need following your surgery, such as someone to cook or clean for you until you are able to return to a normal level of activity.
Choosing a Treatment Team
When it comes down to it, the best thing you can do to prepare for laryngeal cancer surgery is to ensure you have chosen an experienced surgeon at a reputable and high volume cancer center, such as Moffitt Cancer Center. Our surgeons are skilled at performing the latest surgical techniques to address laryngeal cancer, and all of our treatment and supportive care services are available in a single, convenient location.