Polhill’s Cancerous Larynx Is Removed

From United Press International

Surgeons removed the voice box of former hostage Robert Polhill on Thursday in what doctors called a successful operation to rid his body of cancer.

“He’s in intensive care after undergoing surgery,” Walter Reed Army Medical Center spokesman Ben Smith said. “His condition’s good.

Smith quoted doctors as saying the cancer had not spread beyond Polhill’s larynx, or voice box.

Polhill, 55, was freed April 22 after more than three years in captivity in Lebanon.


Army Dr. Russ Zajtchuk said Wednesday that Polhill, a smoker, will not be able to speak normally after the operation but he will be able to communicate, perhaps with an electronic larynx.

Polhill, whose voice was faint and raspy in the days following his release, also will receive radiation treatment after his recuperation.