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patients being discharged following removal of a voicebox

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While you are in hospital

  • You will be shown how to care for your stoma and speaking valve if present.
  • You will be taught how to use the nebuliser – and if necessary, the suction machine.
  • Nurses will also show your carer, partner or family how to use any equipment and check they are confident before you go home.
  • Your GP will be sent a summary of the care you have received while in hospital. They will provide some of the products you will require (eg suction liners and catheters if required, as well as any medication on prescription).
  • Ward Nurses will refer you to the District Nurses. They will give general support including supervising your stoma care, and check any wounds. If it can be arranged, they may visit you on the ward.

Items you will take home

  • Nebuliser with saline solution and masks
  • Spare laryngectomy tubes
  • Spare Buchanan bibs
  • Shower protector
  • Swabs for cleaning
  • Any medications.

Also if necessary:

  • Suction machine with suction catheters and spare tubing
  • Feeding pump
  • Spare feeding tube.

Who to contact


  • You have problems with your stoma or any wound: your District Nurse
  • You have difficulty with RIG/PEG feeding: the Nutricia Nurse 
  • You have problems with your suction machine or difficulty obtaining the liners: your GP or District Nurse 
  • You have difficulty with your speaking valve or any voice problem: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm Speech and Language Therapist or, out of hours, contact Level 8A East ward 
  • Your out-patient appointment does not arrive or any query regarding appointments: the Head and Neck Co-ordinator or your Macmillan Head and Neck Nurse
  • You have problems breathing: go to your nearest hospital A&E department or phone for an ambulance.

Nurses will refer you to Countrywide Supplies Ltd who will provide some of the products you will require. A first order will be made by the nurses before discharge, which will be delivered to your home and they will explain how to obtain further supplies.

  • Nurses will complete a form which is sent to the Ambulance control in case you require their services in the future and make them aware you breathe through your neck.
  • Nurses may arrange care link if you live alone or are likely to spend extended periods of time on your own. It is a way of obtaining help if required.

What and who to expect after discharge

The District Nurse will telephone on first day after discharge to arrange a visit.

Stitches: any not removed in hospital will be removed by your Practice Nurse or possibly the District Nurse.

Out-patient appointment will be booked for 2 weeks after your discharge home in the Head and Neck clinic, at the Sussex Cancer Centre.

Useful telephone numbers

Royal Sussex County Hospital: 01273 696955

Level 8A East Ward : 01273 523174

Macmillan Head and Neck Nurse Specialist
Brighton and Hove : 01273 696955 extension 7435
Eastbourne and Hastings: 07760554037
Worthing: 07825 192712

Macmillan Speech and Language Therapist Brighton and Hove: 01273 696955, extension 7211

Macmillan Dietician: 01273 696955 Bleep 8171

Nutricia Nurse: 0845 7623650

Sussex Cancer Centre: 01273 696955, extension 4324

Head & Neck Co-ordinator: 01273 696955, extension 4485

Countrywide Supplies: 08007831659

Head and Neck Support Worker: 01273 696955, extension 7435

This information is intended for patients receiving treatment at Brighton and Haywards Heath.

The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

Publication Date: July 2014

Review Date: December 2022

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