Placement of voice prosthesis
When possible, a voice prosthesis is placed during laryngectomy to enable patients to talk again as soon as possible. This can be done in most patients.
During placement of the prosthesis, a connection is created between the windpipe and oesophagus. This connection is a type of duct and is called a fistula.
The voice prosthesis, a synthetic valve, is placed in this duct.
If a voice prosthesis leaks, it will have to be changed. This is done in outpatient clinics, usually every 3-4 months.
In some patients, a voice prosthesis cannot be placed during laryngectomy.
After complete wound healing and any additional treatments such as irradiation, insertion of a voice prosthesis is usually possible.