Consequences of laryngectomy
Following surgery, the tracheostoma is the only airway. The upper part of the airway (nose and throat cavity) are now entirely separate from the lower part (the windpipe and lungs).
The larynx and vocal cords were removed during surgery; as a result, people cannot speak normally anymore. Additionally, by separating the upper and lower airways, smelling and blowing one's nose is no longer possible in the usual way. Excess mucus, produced in the lower airways, is now removed through the tracheostoma.
During inhalation, air flows directly through the tracheostoma into the lower airways. This increases the risk of mucus in the airways and respiratory infections.