Stoma Care advice following Laryngectomy

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-270/2023
  • Departments: ENT
  • Last Updated: 28 April 2023


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your stoma.    Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

What is a Stoma?

A stoma is an opening into your neck, which was formed at the time of your surgery, to allow you to breathe and is a permanent solution for your breathing following your laryngectomy operation.  The stoma or opening is made at the base of your neck.  Through this hole air enters and leaves your windpipe (trachea) and lungs.

Caring for your stoma

 You will need to ensure that your stoma is cleaned at least four times a day.  You will need to spray your stoma, using a water spray which we will provide for you, in order to keep it moist.  The bib that you will be wearing will also need to be sprayed regularly.

 Stoma Studs

If your stoma starts to get smaller in size, then you may need a stoma stud to keep it open.  This is important to help you breathe more easily.  The studs come in four different sizes 8, 10, 12 & 14 the nurse practitioner or nurses on the ward will provide you with the correct size.

You will be shown by the nurse how to use the studs correctly.  The stoma studs are easy to clean.  To clean your stoma stud, wash it in warm soapy water, rinse well and then dry before use.  Replacement studs are available on prescription from your GP.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the ENT Outpatients Department on Telephone Number: (01482) 468380.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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