Laryngeal complications (LCs) following cardiac operations contribute to increased morbidity and resource utilization. Using a nationally representative cohort of cardiac surgical patients, we characterized the incidence of LC as well as its associated clinical and financial outcomes. All adults undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting and/or valvular operations were identified using the 2010–2017 Nationwide Readmissions Database. International Classification of Diseases 9th and 10th Revision diagnosis codes were used to identify LC. Trends were analyzed using a rank-based, non-parametric test (nptrend). Multivariable linear and logistic regressions were used to evaluate risk factors for LC, and its impact on mortality, complications, resource use and 30-day non-elective readmissions. Of an estimated 2,319,628 patients, 1.7% were diagnosed with perioperative LC, with rising incidence from 1.5% in 2010 to 1.8% in 2017 (nptrend < 0.001). After adjustment, female sex [adjusted odds ratio 1.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04–1.12], advancing age, and multi-valve procedures (1.51, 95% CI 1.36–1.67, reference: isolated CABG) were associated with increased odds of LC. Despite no risk-adjusted effect on mortality, LC was associated with increased odds of pneumonia (2.88, 95% CI 2.72–3.04), tracheostomy (4.84, 95% CI 4.44–5.26), and readmission (1.32, 95% CI 1.26–1.39). In addition, LC was associated with a 7.7-day increment (95% CI 7.4–8.0) in hospitalization duration and $24,200 (95% CI 23,000–25,400) in attributable costs. The present study found LC to be associated with increased perioperative sequelae and resource utilization. The development and application of active screening protocols for post-surgical LC are warranted to increase early detection and reduce associated morbidity.