Laryngectomy is the removal of the larynx and separation of the airway from the mouth, nose and esophagus. In a total laryngectomy, the entire larynx is removed (including the vocal folds, hyoid bone, epiglottis, thyroid and cricoid cartilage and a few tracheal cartilage rings). In a partial laryngectomy, only a portion of the larynx is removed. Following the procedure, the person breathes through an opening in the neck known as a stoma.

Voice and speech rehabilitation following laryngectomy

The first aim of this study is the compilation of the various methods of voice and speech rehabilitation following laryngectomy. Therefore, this book gives a detailed survey of these voice rehabilitation methods, with emphasis on the tracheo-esophageal shunt method with a valve prosthesis in respectively Chapter II, Chapter III and Chapter IV. The development of these valve prostheses, which are inserted into a surgically created tracheo-esophageal shunt, has presented a giant step forwards in the voice and speech rehabilitation of laryngectomees.

The Role of Esophagus in Voice Rehabilitation of Laryngectomees

The total laryngectomy is a standard procedure of laryngeal carcinoma treatment which leaves multiple persistent consequences on a laryngectomized person. After laryngectomy, all of patients cannot speak loudly, and 10–58% patients have a dysphagia. In such changed anatomical condition, the esophagus has a key function in two of three primary approaches to voice—speech rehabilitation of laryngectomized patients: esophageal and tracheoesophageal speech therapy method because one of these is the only acceptable solution of substitute alaryngeal speech.

The electrolarynx: voice restoration after total laryngectomy

The ability to speak and communicate with one’s voice is a unique human characteristic and is fundamental to many activities of daily living, such as talking on the phone and speaking to loved ones. When the larynx is removed during a total laryngectomy (TL), loss of voice can lead to a devastating decrease in a patient’s quality of life, and precipitate significant frustration over their inability to communicate with others effectively.

My Voice

My Voice website image

Created by Itzhak Brook MD a physician and a laryngectomee. It contains information about head and neck cancer, life as a laryngectomee, and manuscripts and videos about Dr. Brook's personal experience as a patient with throat cancer. It has information about side effects of radiation and chemotherapy; methods of speaking; airway, mucus, stoma, voice prosthesis; eating and swallowing; medical, dental and psychological issues; respiration; anesthesia; and travelling.

Source: Corporate website

Brook, Itzhak

Itzhak Brook (born 1941) is an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC. He specializes in infectious diseases. He is the past chairman of the Anti-infective Drug Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and chaired the Committee when AZT was approved for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in 1987.

Brook wrote a book about his experience as a patient with throat cancer and a book about his experiences as a battalion physician in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The Laryngectomee Guide

The guide contains information about the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy; the methods of speaking after laryngectomy; how to care for the airway, stoma, heat and moisture exchange filter, and voice prosthesis. In addition I address eating and swallowing issues, medical, dental and psychological concerns, respiration and anesthesia, and travelling as a laryngectomee.

Source: Extract from book introducction

Voice restoration following head and neck surgery

The American Cancer Society estimated 59,000 cases of head and neck cancer in the United States in 2015 (American Cancer Society, 2015). Individuals with head and neck cancer acquire communication needs as a result of various cancer treatments, including surgical resection, radiation, and chemotherapy. Surgical treatments may involve resection of head/neck structures and tissue that may result in partial or complete removal of the larynx, vocal cords, and articulatory structures, in turn resulting in loss of voice and/or speech.

Voice restoration following head and neck surgery

The American Cancer Society estimated 59,000 cases of head and neck cancer in the United States in 2015 (American Cancer Society, 2015). Individuals with head and neck cancer acquire communication needs as a result of various cancer treatments, including surgical resection, radiation, and chemotherapy. Surgical treatments may involve resection of head/neck structures and tissue that may result in partial or complete removal of the larynx, vocal cords, and articulatory structures, in turn resulting in loss of voice and/or speech.