What is a Laryngectomy?

A total Laryngectomy is a major operation for the treatment of laryngeal cancer. It involves the removal of the voice box and some reconstruction of the throat area, so that the laryngectomy will now breathe through a small opening at the front of the neck called a stoma.

This means that the laryngectomy will lose their speech entirely and it may cause them to completely change their lifestyle.

However, there are several ways to recover your speech after the operation and an excellent way to find out about them and the other implications of a total laryngectomy is to visit your local Laryngectomee Support Group.

There are three main ways of recovering your voice after the operation:

Using an Electrolarynx

This is basically a hand-held, battery operated, portable mic.

Oesophageal Speech

A technique which can be learnt using "swallowed" air to create a voice.

A Voice Prosthesis

A special valve is fitted into the stoma which can redirect air through the mouth by covering the opening.

Usually, a speech therapist will assist you through these processes, but groups like the Happy Larrys can also provide invaluable first-hand advice on each method's merits and drawbacks.

An excellent source for reading further about the nitty gritty of the operation can be found at:




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