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Patterns of alaryngeal voice adoption and predictive factors of vocal rehabilitation failure following total laryngectomy.

Head & Neck 2023 August 31
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine patterns of alaryngeal voice acquisition and predictive factors of vocal rehabilitation (VR) failure following total laryngectomy (TL) at a large Canadian tertiary care center.

METHODS: All consecutive patients having undergone a TL between January 1st, 2011 and December 31st, 2019, at the Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal were included.

RESULTS: One hundred and ninety-seven laryngectomized patients were identified. Successful VR was achieved in 86 (59.0%) patients, while 59 (41.0%) failed to use a method of alaryngeal voice as their principal means of communication at 1 year postoperatively. The use of tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP) was associated with higher VR success rates (70.6%) when compared with the artificial larynx (48.6%), and esophageal voice (18.8%). The only independent predictor of VR failure on multivariate analysis at all time points was a low socioeconomic status.

CONCLUSION: Failure to adopt an alaryngeal voice following TL is highly prevalent, despite comprehensive and free speech language pathologist services being offered at our center. A low resort to TEP at our institution and a poor acceptability and accessibility of alternative VR methods may contribute to this trend. The challenges of VR may be further exacerbated by the barriers linked to a lower socioeconomic status, which in turn may contribute to reduced candidacy for TEP.

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