Question

Throat Disorders

Will I be able to whistle after a laryngectomy?

A Answers (1)

  • ABetty Long, RN, MHA, Nursing, answered

    Months ago, I worked with a man who had a recurrence of his throat cancer and needed to have a total laryngectomy to remove the new cancer. His main concern was not if he'd be able to speak, or even eat, post-operatively, but whether he would be able to whistle. He was an avid bird hunter and in order to communicate with his hunting dogs, since they are ahead of him as they're hunting, he needed to whistle to them. 

    Knowing that solutions do exist for patients to speak, we did confirm that there are makeshift whistles that can be used by patients to whistle through their stoma. He was relieved!

    Thanks to the internet, there are lots of on-line resources and information for patients. One reputable website is WebWhispers.  WebWhispers was started in 1996 for those folks who had questions about larynx cancer treatments, surgery, recovery, and what life is like after laryngectomy surgery. 

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