Tracheoesophageal Puncture after Total Laryngectomy
Roy Landsberg, Frida Korenbrot, Dov Ophir
Depts. of Otolaryngology and of Head and Neck Surgery, Meir Hospital, Kfar Saba and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University; and the Israel Cancer Association Voice Rehabilitation Program
Total laryngectomy due to malignant laryngeal tumors is followed by loss of speaking ability. Voice restoration in laryngectomized patients is the main target in their rehabilitation. Until the late 70's, esophageal speech was considered the most effective rehabilitation method. In 1980 Singer and Blom introduced a prosthesis for tracheoesophageal speech which has been gaining popularity. Tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP) can be performed either at the time of total laryngectomy, or later.
30 of our patients underwent TEP between 1991 and 1999, 15 at the time of total laryngectomy and 15 as a delayed secondary procedure. Mean follow-up was 36 months (range 6 months to 8 years) during which all regained speaking ability.
Over the long range, speech rehabilitation with the prosthesis was successful in 24 (80%). In only 1 in the primary TEP group did treatment fail, as the prosthesis had to be removed due to local recurrence of the tumor. Long range failure in 5/15 patients after secondary TEP stemmed from difficulties some patients had in handling the prosthesis and from psychological difficulties in adapting to the new speech device. Complications were mostly minor and occurred mainly in the secondary TEP group.
TEP performed at the time of total laryngectomy, or later as a secondary procedure, is effective for speech rehabilitation after laryngectomy.