Val Kilmer Tracheostomy: Rumors Circulate That Star Has Throat Cancer [Video]

Does Val Kilmer have throat cancer? Speculation that the Top Gun star has throat cancer has been fueled by the fact that Kilmer has been spotted wearing a variety of bandanas around his neck. It had been thought that Val was intentionally hiding something underneath them. Those thoughts have been confirmed when a picture has surfaced with Kilmer being seen wearing a device used to assist a person’s breathing after a tracheostomy.

A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure in which a patient has a stoma (hole) cut into his neck that goes directly into the trachea. A tracheostomy is done in order to help a patient breathe easier when the normal avenue for breathing is obstructed by something abnormal. If or when the condition of a person’s breathing improves, and they no longer need the assistance of the tracheostomy, the stoma will be allowed to close on its own.

Medical Conditions Where A Tracheostomy Is Needed

  • Patient has a chronic breathing issue where a ventilator is needed for patient to breathe for an extended period of time. Patient has some sort of paralysis in the vocal cords or throat cancer.
  • Surgical preparation for a surgery where the recovery process is going to make breathing difficult.
  • Major trauma to the head or neck which makes breathing on your own difficult or impossible.

Val broke his silence on his Facebook page about the tracheostomy and the rumor that he has cancer.

“Thank you all for your love and support. There’s a rumor I’m unwell again and in hospital which is totally untrue. I was in to verify I have no tumor or infection of any kind which was verified by the very caring experts at UCLA. I have not had a tumor, or a tumor operations, or any operation … I had a complication where the best way to receive care was to stay under the watchful eye of the UCLA ICU.”

Kilmer’s health has been in question for most of the year. The message that Val posted on his Facebook page was the third time this year where he had to comment on his health. Normally, he has been vague. His Facebook message was the first time that he admitted that he has been under the care of a doctor in order to determine if he has a tumor or not. When the question of a tumor arose for Kilmer in January, he denied it, even though his representative, Liz Rosenberg, put out a statement saying differently.

“Film actor Val Kilmer is currently undergoing tests at a Los Angeles Hospital for a possible tumor. The 55-year-old Kilmer is being cared for by his two children, Mercedes, 23, and son Jack, who is 19, both L.A. residents. According to a family friend and spokesperson, the doctors are encouraged by his progress and are hopeful that Mr. Kilmer will make a full recovery.”

Recently, Kilmer mentioned that he would be reuniting with Tom Cruise for the long-awaited sequel, Top Gun 2. Val would reprise his role as the ace fighter pilot, Iceman. Val made sure to caution his fans that the sequel is still a long way off.

Hopefully, Val Kilmer is on his way to recovery. By finally coming out publically and talking about what he was being treated for is a good sign. If all goes well for him, his doctors will remove the device holding his stoma open and he will be able to get another chance to be Maverick’s wingman.

[Image Via AP Photo/Mark Humphrey]