Surgery after chemo rad

Hello all my warriors,


How are you guys doing,Its been long time i was away from this foroum,as i was with my father during his surgery.

Yes my father underwent surgery after Chemo and 35Radiations for T3N2Mo.The surgery underwent fine.It was Total Laryngectomy and partial pharyngectomy with Radical neck dissection.The Pathology report shows no tumor in primary SITE of dieses and no cancer inside throat but 2 lymph nodes were positive out of 25 nodes.Its 30days out of surgery,everything went well in these 30 days but after 4days of oral try he develop an infection in throat through which the feed material started coming out through permanent trachea.Now he is in hospital.Doctor is telling he is developing all these complications because of post radiation surgery. Anyone having such ype of experience please suggest something which we should take care.



Thanks in advance.



  • lornal
    lornal Member Posts: 428

    I had a total laryngectomy in January.  I had had chemo and radiation in 2007 for tonsil cancer.

    The radiation made things a bit difficult for my stoma to heal, and I did end up in the hospital again because of cellulitus (staph infection).  Fortunately, it was not MRSA, and antibiotics knocked it down.  I also tried to use a lary button instead of a lary tube, but it was rubbing me the wrong say - and the doctor nixed that.

    Are you and/or  your father members of  Lots of great information there, - great forum.  Check it out if you haven't yet.

    Can't offer anymore suggestions at this point - hope the infection heals soon.


    2007 & 2014

  • Ladylacy
    Ladylacy Member Posts: 773 Member

    My husband had radiation, chemo followed by a total laryngectomy, partial neck dissection and reconstruction of the back of his throat (at age 73) and had no problems with healing.  In fact our specialist said my husband should be the poster man for those that had radiation first and then surgery because he healed fast and without any problems.  The main thing to remember is that no two people are going to get the same results.

    Did you Dad have a TEP insert during surgery.  If his feedings are come out thru his stoma then it got into his lungs which can't happened unless he has a TEP or a fistula since the esophagus and airway are no longer connected after a laryngectomy.   A TEP does connect the esophagus and airway and can cause aspiration into the lungs.   One year after the laryngectomy, my husband decided to have the TEP but we found out he had developed a second primary at the cervical of his esophagus (rare) and the specialist ruled out surgery since it would be basically in the same location as the first radiation and  surgery. 

    Wishing your family peace and comfort -- Sharon

  • patricke
    patricke Member Posts: 570

    Hey Hope, 

    I'm sorry that your father is having to deal with all of these post laryngectomee problems, but I am sure that his medical team will nail the diagnosis and effective tereatment to get him past these hoops and on to a full recovery.  I too had a bunch of post surgical problems, including TEP (Trachael Esophagial Punture) leakage causing three rounds of aspiration pneumonia, after my laryngectomy of 2011, but they were eventually resolved, and I am now, super thankfully, doing better than I could have ever imagined during those dark dreadful days.  The process to stablized recovery sometimes takes time, and of course the always necessary patience, but we always get there.  I also enthusiastically second Lorna's recommendation to check out Webwhispers, which is a part of the IAL (International Association of Laryngectomees), another great support group with reams of quite helpful information, recommendations, understanding, and guidance from kindred folks who've had similar experiences.  Hang in there Hope, and please tell your dad to do the same; life will get better, and he will be rock'in and roll'in again in no time, as I am want to say.  I wish you, your dad, and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!


  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Surgery after chemo rad

    I can't help with much of that as I only had surgery and no chemo or rads. I did have the neck dissection on both sides and 86 glands removed. Everyone will heal differant to some extent. Having the surgery will heal slower because of the Rads. If he is leaking food out his stoma the TEP or fistula has a leak. It will help if when he coughs and he has food or liquid that is not just mucus to take photos with his phone or camera. Sounds gross but it can let the Dr know what you are talking about. If he has a TEP it can need to be changed do to swelling has gone down and needs a shorter size which is very common at first. I had to have mine changed many times the first year for the same problems.  Let him know it will get better, and keep moving and streaching his neck as it seems to get tight around the fifth or six month. If he is using an EL for speach to keep practaceing with it. Talk slower than he did before and the tongue twisters help. You need to over enunciate. Also record your voice so you have it and you can learn from it as well. Progress can seem slow at times but celabrate each step of progress you make, it all matters. If I can help let me know.

    Bill  Oct 2013 Full Laryngectomee