The importance of preoperative swallowing therapy in subtotal laryngectomies

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine the utility of swallowing therapy (ST) before and after surgery in patients undergoing subtotal laryngectomy.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING

From 1990 to 2000, 43 patients underwent subtotal laryngectomy. Prior to 1997 patients received ST only after surgery, while from 1997 on, patients scheduled for subtotal laryngectomy also received some sessions of ST before surgery.

RESULTS

The average time to swallowing resumption was 27.76 ± 5.206 days for the 25 patients who received ST only after surgery, and 16.38 ± 2.953 for those who underwent ST both before and after surgery.

CONCLUSION

The difference between the two groups was significant on Student's t test (P < 0.001) and shows that preoperative rehabilitation is of significant help in the early resumption of normal deglutition.

SIGNIFICANCE

The authors find that the duration of nasogastric tube feeding is reduced in subjects who underwent ST.

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