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Pharyngectomy for Head & Neck Cancer Treatment

A pharyngectomy is a treatment option for head and neck cancers that affect the pharynx (throat). This procedure involves removing the portion of the throat where cancerous cells have developed. It may be performed as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with another treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

What to expect during a pharyngectomy

A pharyngectomy may be a simple procedure involving the removal of a small tumor in the throat, or it may be more complex. This will depend on many individual factors, including the size and location of the tumor, the nature and stage of cancer and the patient’s general health.

  • Total laryngopharyngectomy – This procedure involves the removal of the entire larynx (voice box) as well as large portions of the pharynx.
  • Posterior partial oropharyngectomy – This procedure removes the back portion of the oropharynx, which is the part of the throat behind the mouth.
  • Partial hypopharyngectomy – The hypopharynx, which is the portion removed in this procedure, is the part of the throat that forms the opening to the esophagus, located above the larynx.

A pharyngectomy may be performed as an open procedure with incisions in the throat, or as a minimally invasive surgery through the mouth. Your surgeon will be able to tell you exactly how to prepare for the procedure and what to expect during the recovery period, depending on the specific type of pharyngectomy you receive.

Where to receive a pharyngectomy

If a pharyngectomy has been recommended to you as part of your treatment plan for head and neck cancer, you may be wondering where to receive treatment. It’s important to choose a treatment center that has a high level of expertise treating head and neck cancers. Moffitt Cancer Center is a high-volume cancer center, and our surgeons have abundant experience performing all types of pharyngectomies.

To speak with a Moffitt physician about receiving a pharyngectomy or any other treatment for head and neck cancer, you can request a consultation by filling out a new patient registration form or calling 1-888-663-3488. No referral is necessary for an initial consultation.