Laryngectomy Voice Prosthesis
A total laryngectomy is a surgery performed in the advanced stages of cancer and involves removing the voice box (larynx). After a laryngectomy, breathing happens via an opening in the neck instead of the nose and mouth.
Undergoing a total laryngectomy can be an overwhelming and often isolating experience, but we’re here to help you! There are more than 100,000 people worldwide who have received the same operation, and many of them live right in this community. With a little help from the experts at DeFatta ENT and Allergy, it is possible to maintain your quality of life. Our physicians want you to know that there are resources in the Chippewa Valley for you and your family including:
- Qualified surgeons who are experienced in placement of voice prosthesis. We accept patients for voice prosthesis evaluation, no matter when or where your laryngectomy surgery might have been performed.
- Experienced speech and swallowing therapists trained to maintain and replace your voice prosthesis
- Laryngectomee support group meetings. Browse upcoming events here.
More about voice prostheses for total laryngectomy
A voice prosthesis is medical device make of silicone, which is placed between the food pipe (your esophagus) and windpipe (your trachea) to help with voicing. It can be placed at the time of the total laryngectomy surgery, or in a secondary puncture procedure later after healing from total laryngectomy.
Within the voice prosthesis is a one way valve, which opens during speaking and allows air to pass from your lungs into your throat and mouth. This one way valve also shuts during swallowing to keep any debris or saliva from entering your lungs in the reverse direction.
A qualified speech-language pathologist can train you on the relatively easy to learn speech technique (tracheaesophageal speech) used with this type of voice prosthesis. Tracheoesophageal speech is now widely used and proven to be the most successful method to be able to communicate again after a total laryngectomy.
Want to learn more? Call DeFatta ENT & Allergy at (715) 828-2368 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our expert voice surgeon.