Increased secretions following laryngectomy. Any suggestions please?

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Hello.  My Dad had a laryngectomy in 2019 and his secretions have never really settled down since.  He struggles to wear his baseplate and HME as it gets blocked so quickly.  He coughs a lot due to the overproduction of secretions which is really exhausting for him and difficult to watch.  He is regularly checked for chest infections but often there is no infection.  I was just wondering if anyone has experienced similar and whether there is anything he can try to alleviate this.  Thank you.

  • Hi NP18, welcome to the forum, this is a small forum so sometimes you may be better on the Head and Neck Forum but anyway I too am a Laryngectomee as I also have emphysema I suffer from the over production of Mucus. Has your Father discussed the problem with anyone as I suffered for quite a while after and then insisted  with my GP regarding the matter, in conjunction the Respiratory Unit I was prescribed Buscopan- yes it is mainly for IBS but there is something in it that helps. I found this worked well for quite a while in conjunction with a anti-astatine at night time as that gives the same effect as Night Nurse and alleviates it at night. I have now stopped the Buscopan and am using just Daytime – non drowsy – Allergy Relief tablet- make sure it is Loratadine as that is non drowsy particularly if he drives- the nighttime tablet is centrizine.

    Of course he should consult with a medic in case he is on any other medication, also his Speech Therapists may help as well but hopefully this may help, the following is the link to the Head and Neck Forum, there are several of us on that site :

    https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/head-neck-cancer-forum/

    Hope this helps, Take care both of you

    Tony

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  • Good evening NP, i think a lot of this is because he is struggling with his baseplate and filter, he is breathing in unfiltered air and it should really be conditioned, and that's what the filters do. I sometimes wear the Laryngofoam foam filter, its just a small square bit of foam that only sticks on and covers the stoma, it only has one sticky edge along the top so its not sealed all around but it helps condition the air. Its worth trying and can be ordered from Atos. Wishing your dad all the best, take care. 

                                                    Chris x

    Its sometimes not easy but its worth it ! 

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  • Hi Chris,  

    Thanks for replying.  I haven't heard about the foam filters so will look into those as they may be a good solution for him.  I have seen Atos referred to on here several times.  Dad hasn't had any contact with Atos.  Do you need to be referred to them?  Is this a support that Dad is missing out on which I should try and access for him?  Thank you for any advice.

  • Hi Tony,

    Thanks so much for replying with lots of really helpful information.  Dads GP did give him buscopan which he took for a month but didn't see any noticeable improvement.  Did you see an improvement after a month as I wonder if he should've kept taking it for a longer period of time?  We've never been advised about trying anti-histamines so this is definitely a conversation we can have with Dads GP, to see if this is an option he can try.

    To be honest, anything is worth a try to get Dad some relief.

    Thanks again and take care,

    Nicky.

  • Hi the Buscopan worked for a while it wasn’t an instant relief so would say a month wouldn’t have been long enough, I only say this as I was given 3 months supply. Your reply to your comment with Chris’s comment you would need to speak with your Fathers Speech Therapist regarding request and registration then all supplies are via prescription request directly to Atos, they also have nurses available for support if he is having trouble I gave up on baseplates as I became allergic to them so now use a button insert in my stoma

    Hope this helps a little 

    Tony

    Community Champion Badge

    We will move mountains to help people with cancer live life as fully as they can.
    We'll do whatever it takes. For information, support or just someone to talk to,

    call 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk

    Onwards and UpwardsWink Laryngectomy and OC survivor 

    Lead Volunteer for Hampshire MacMillan Buddy Service

  • Great info, thanks Tony. I get Dads supplies on prescription though Fittleworth at the moment but I’m not aware that they have nurse support so I might see if I can change it to Atos. Dad has tried every baseplate going but has finally found a hypoallergenic one which suits him. 

    When we speak to the GP about anti histamines I’ll mention the buscopan again and maybe Dad can try a longer course of them. Lots of things to at least have a conversation about which is really helpful so thank you from me and my Dad.

    Have a great weekend,

    Nicky.

  • Most people i know use Atos, i don't think you have to be referred, maybe your speech and language will sort it out for you, they do all sorts of filters, and baseplates, even the Buccannan bib is better than nothing its held in position by tie-ups around the neck  and look like babies bibs, you are welcome to any advice even if it sounds silly, we will all chip in and offer first-hand advice, great advice from the other guys/ galls as well. Wishing you well, take care.

                                                                              Chris x

    Its sometimes not easy but its worth it ! 

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