The effects of a total laryngectomy on speech breathing

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Purpose of reviewAlaryngeal speech rehabilitation following a total laryngectomy is a multifactorial disorder that includes changes in phonation, respiration, and overall general health. Tracheoesophageal speech is the preferred method of rehabilitation. In this approach, pulmonary air support is diverted from the trachea into the esophagus to generate voicing. Tracheoesophageal speakers must overcome radical upper airway changes, increased resistance in the phonatory source, reduced sensory feedback from the respiratory system, and probable respiratory compromise. This review integrates previous laryngectomy research with recent studies investigating kinematics in tracheoesophageal speakers.Recent findingsTracheoesophageal speakers are often very intelligible and communicate effectively, but little has been done to investigate the physiological demands of tracheoesophageal speech on speakers. Two recent studies have specifically investigated speech breathing behaviors in tracheoesophageal speakers. Both investigations reported increased effort and differences in speech breathing compared to laryngeal speakers; however, continued research is needed to understand the effects of a total laryngectomy on speech breathing.SummaryThe physiological changes following a laryngectomy, especially in the ability to produce tracheoesophageal speech, are not well known. Rehabilitation for these individuals requires an understanding of the changes in respiration that might influence speech breathing behaviors.

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