Here is a step-by-step guide to identify leakage
- Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds
- Position yourself in front of a well-lit mirror
- Clean your Provox voice prosthesis with a Provox Brush and/or a Provox Flush
- Take a sip of a coloured liquid, e.g. milk or coffee
- Look for liquid dripping through the center of the voice prosthesis
- Look for liquid dripping around the edges of the voice prosthesis
- You may need to take another sip to check again
Typical signs of your voice prosthesis leaking
- Coughing during, or after, eating and drinking
- Fluid stained mucus
- Food stained mucus
- Increased mucus
- Recurrent chest infections
- Consider drinking thicker liquids (i.e. smoothies or thick milkshakes) as thicker liquids may decrease or eliminate leakage.
- There are commercially available thickeners that you can add to liquids to make them thicker. Contact your clinician for advice on what thickeners may be available to you.
- If you are not able to insert the Provox Plug yourself, ask someone to help you, and leave the plug in place until you can see your clinician. They should wear protective equipment such as a mask when needed, because you might cough when the plug is
- When you have a Provox Plug in place you will not be able to speak with your voice prosthesis. You could consider using an electrolarynx like Provox TruTone Emote or Provox SolaTone Plus during those times. Your clinician can advise you about this.
- If your voice prosthesis did not leak after cleaning, there might have been food or mucus caught in the prosthesis preventing it from closing. Clean your voice prosthesis at least two times per day and after each meal.
Watch this video on how to manage voice prosthesis leakage
- Have liquid thickeners at hand in case your voice prosthesis starts to leak and you are having trouble with the plug. Ask your clinician about the best options for you.
- Consider talking to your clinician about a backup solution for speaking in case you need to start using a plug. An electrolarynx device can be a good solution to still be able to speak if you can’t use your voice prosthesis.