Laryngeal cancer surgery

"The use of modern technology has extraordinarily modified the visual assessment of the larynx, making it possible to observe both the state and behaviour of the larynx".


Surgical treatment for laryngeal cancer

Treatment of laryngeal cancer includes surgery and sometimes also radiation therapy.

Surgical treatment is performed under general anesthesia and can be done endoscopically, using CO2 laser for tumor resection, or externally. The endoscopic approach allows for extensive partial resections of the larynx, sometimes similar to the external approach.

The possibilities of cure of this disease vary between 30 and 90%, depending on the extension that the tumor reaches.

Combining the two treatment options, we have a wide variety of surgical techniques to partially preserve the larynx with the aim of continuing to maintain the functions of this organ.

Imagen del icono de la consulta de Segunda Opinión. Clínica Universidad de Navarra

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When is surgery indicated in laryngeal cancer?

Laryngeal cancer ranks sixth in cancer mortality in Spain among men and fourth in potential years of life lost.

It is a male-dominated disease and is related to exposure to carcinogens, mainly through tobacco consumption, which occurs in 94% of patients diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.

Most frequent indications:

Have you been diagnosed with larynx cancer?

Surgical treatment may be necessary

How is laryngeal cancer surgery performed?

Surgical techniques include the resection of a vocal cord (chordectomy), part or all of the supraglottic larynx, a vertical hemilarynx or, sometimes, when it is not possible to preserve an anatomical and functional segment of the larynx, a total laryngectomy.

Depending on the location within the organ and the extension of the tumor, the removal of the nodal drainage areas related to the tumor location is performed (this is called a nodal emptying which can be uni or bilateral) and mainly in tumors of supraglottic location or with extension from the larynx to the gold-hypopharynx.

In those cases in which surgery is performed externally, it is common to perform a temporary tracheotomy, which allows control of the airway in the event of inflammation in the surgical area.

In order to perform a total laryngectomy, there are techniques to replace the phonatory deficit, and a phonatory prosthesis can be used to communicate the trachea with the pharynx-esophagus.

If the extension of the tumor, both at the level of the larynx, as well as the nodes, make it advisable, the surgical treatment is complemented with radiotherapy or post-operative chemoradiotherapy.

Where do we do it?


The Department of Otolaryngology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Department of Otorhinolaryngology of the University of Navarra Clinic is a national and world reference in numerous highly specialized surgical procedures.

We have the latest technology and we perform all diagnostic tests in less than 48 hours in order to offer our patients the best solution in the shortest time possible.

We were one of the first centers in Spain to use robotic surgery in the surgical treatment with the Da Vinci® System. 

Organized in specialized units:

  • Otology - Hearing.
  • Rhinology - Nose.
  • Pharyngology - Throat.
  • Laryngology - Voice.
  • Balance disorders.
  • Head and neck problems.
Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Experts in the treatment of hearing problems.
  • Pioneers in axillary surgery to avoid scarring.
  • National reference center in tissue sealing for tonsil removal.

Our team of professionals

Otolaryngology specialists with experience in laryngeal cancer surgery