At Atos Medical, we are passionate about making life easier for people living with a neck stoma.
A voice prosthesis (plural prostheses) is an artificial device, usually made of silicone that is used in conjunction with voice therapy to help laryngectomized patients to speak. During a total laryngectomy, the entire voice box (larynx) is removed and the windpipe (trachea) and food pipe (esophagus) are separated from each other. During this operation an opening between the food pipe and the windpipe can be created (primary puncture). This opening can also be created at a later time (secondary puncture). This opening is called a tracheo-esophageal puncture (TE puncture). The voice prosthesis is placed in this opening. Then, it becomes possible to speak by occluding the stoma and blowing the air from the lungs through the inside of the voice prosthesis and through the throat, creating a voice sound, which is called tracheo-esophageal speech. The back end of the prosthesis sits at the food pipe. To avoid food, drinks, or saliva from coming through the prosthesis and into the lungs, the prosthesis has a small flap at the back. There are two ways of inserting the voice prosthesis: through the mouth and throat (retrograde manner) with the help of a guide wire, or directly through the tracheostoma (anterograde) manner. Nowadays, most voice prosthesis are placed anterograde, through the stoma.