Laryngectomy Rehabilitation

Total Laryngectomy significantly alters speech production. For a speech production to be functional, the following 3 basic elements are necessary. (1) a power source, (2) a sound source, and (3) a sound modifier.

For laryngeal speakers, lung air is the source, and the vocal tract is the sound modifier. During total laryngectomy (TL), the sound source is removed and the lungs are disconnected from the vocal tract. Successful voice restoration following total laryngectomy requires identification of an alternative sound source with a viable power source.

The 3 basic options for voice restoration after total laryngectomy are (1) artificial larynx speech (2) esophageal speech, and (3) tracheoesophageal speech. Selection of a method should be based on input from the surgeon, speech pathologist, and patient. The decision is best made keeping in mind the patient’s communicative needs, physical and mental status, and personal preference.

Contact STARS for more information about how Laryngectomy Rehabilitation can help.