After removal of the larynx, the affected person is initially without a voice, as the vocal cords were also removed with the larynx. The aim of voice rehabilitation is to find a replacement voice which is suitable for the person concerned.
The ability to communicate is one of our basic needs. Regaining this ability and thus participation in everyday social life is therefore a central objective of rehabilitation. There are different ways to create a voice, but none of them can perfectly reproduce one's own previous voice. For this reason, it is important to consciously deal with the changed voice sound within the context of voice rehabilitation as well as the fact that part of one's personality has also changed with it. There are four common, well-established options for vocal rehabilitation.
Possibilities of voice rehabilitation
Pseudo whispering is not only a form of vocal rehabilitation, but also simultaneously provides the basis for learning two other vocal options.
In the ructus voice, the air in the mouth is inhaled or pressed into the upper part of the oesophagus.
Which forms of substitute voice are suitable for which patient should be decided together individually with the person concerned. Decisive factors for the decision include the extent of the surgical laryngectomy, the patient's individual life situation and the general state of health of the person concerned.
Of course, those affected do not have to make this important decision alone. The various options for vocal rehabilitation are explained and presented in discussions with the physician and speech therapist. A joint decision is then made together with the person concerned as to which variant is most suitable. The physician already takes this decision into account during surgery, as far as possible (for example, by placing a voice prosthesis). During the subsequent speech therapy, they cooperate in learning the new form of communication. In close cooperation between the speech therapists, physicians and providers of medical aids, the most suitable medical aids and therapy for the individual patient are coordinated appropriately.
Individual patient care with needs-based aids is of elementary importance for voice rehabilitation. This can facilitate vocalisation as well as significantly improve voice quality.