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Aerodynamic characteristics of the slit-like trachea-esophagus puncture for voice rehabilitation following total laryngectomy.

Acta Oto-Laryngologica 131(5):539 (2011) PMID 21171832

The slit-like trachea-esophagus puncture is a reliable procedure to restore the voice in the patient who has undergone a total laryngectomy. The new voice quality could be similar to normal and could meet the patient's daily needs. We report a new method of tracheoneoesophageal (TE) voice rehabilitation. A slit-like trachea-esophagus puncture was made in the tracheoesophageal wall after the total laryngectomy. No voice prosthesis was used. The purpose of this study was to observe its aerodynamic characteristics. All 60 patients received voice rehabilitation with the slit-like fistula after total laryngectomy. All patients' voices were evaluated as excellent. The aerodynamic characteristics of trachea-esophagus voices were observed. When a patient attempted to phonate, the upper esophagus was closed. Then, the hypopharyngeal cavity expanded. Just before phonating, the upper esophagus was full of air as a ball. The air flow escaped through the segment of the trachea-esophagus slit and entered the pharyngoesophageal segment (PES). The esophageal meatus opened. It was vibrated together with nearby mucus and mucosa to form the voice. The maximum phonation time of the slit-like fistula voice was not significantly different from the Blom-Singer prosthesis voice. Its sound intensity was similar to the normal voice.

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