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Voice prosthesis speech

Speaking with a voice prosthesis is the most common method used today following total laryngectomy. It is also considered to be the most successful of the three methods for voice rehabilitation – creating the most natural-sounding and fluent voice.

A voice prosthesis is a small plastic device placed in a new opening between your windpipe (your trachea) and your food tube (your oesophagus). The opening is usually made during the surgery for you to be able to speak using your own voice as soon as possible.

What is a voice prosthesis?

 

A voice prosthesis is a small plastic device that has two ‘flanges’ on either side to keep it in place. Between the two flanges, there is a small tube that contains a one-way valve. This valve opens when you speak and closes when you eat or breathe.

Your Speech and Language Therapist will help you to train your new voice and will recommend exercises that will make your new speaking style as clear as possible.

How a voice prosthesis works?

Blocking your stoma with a finger before exhalation, all the air from your lungs is directed from the windpipe, via the voice prosthesis, into the food pipe before reaching your mouth. When the exhaled air passes through the upper part of the oesophagus, the surrounding tissue will start to vibrate. These vibrations create sounds that end up as spoken words when shaped by the tongue and lips.

Advantages of using a voice prosthesis:

More natural voice quality than other methods
Relatively quick and easy to learn

The challenges of using a voice prosthesis:

Not everyone is suitable to have a voice prosthesis
Daily cleaning is needed
Replacement is needed regularly

Tips for voice prosthesis users

Is your voice prosthesis working as well as it should be? It can be helpful to learn some tips on recognising when it’s time to change your voice prosthesis.

Discover helpful tips and tricks here

Speech with a voice prosthesis

The video below will give you an idea of what it sounds like when you speak with a voice prosthesis.

Discover tips and tricks for voice prosthesis users

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