Courtesy of Atos Medical AB
A laryngectomy is the surgical removal of the larynx. It is most frequently completed as treatment for advanced laryngeal cancer. After a laryngectomy procedure, the person no longer has vocal folds and must learn to communicate in new ways.
The three most common modes of communication for laryngectomees are tracheoesophageal speech, esophageal speech and electrolarynx.
The voice pathologists at The Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis & Rehabilitation work with patients and families both pre- and post-operatively to provide education and counseling related to this procedure. Most specifically, they help the patient decide which mode of post-laryngectomy communication will suite their needs best. After the surgery, training in the use of the patient's "new voice" begins.
A large majority of patients choose tracheoesophageal speech, which involves the use of a one-way valve inserted into the wall between the trachea and esophagus. Our voice pathologists provide sizing, changing and troubleshooting for these devices, and encourage and train independence in product use as desired by the patient.