Introduction: Total laryngectomy/pharingo-laryngectomy is a potentially aggressive surgery for advanced laryngeal/hypopharyngeal carcinomas, which results in important physical and functional changes that compromise some of the most vital functions, including speech communication. For these patients, tracheoesophageal speech is considered to be the gold standard for voice rehabilitation. Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to determinate the success rate of voice prosthesis rehabilitation, voice prosthesis lifetime and the rate of complications, and its related clinicopathologic factors. Material and Methods: Retrospective review of 92 patients who undergone tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP) performed between January 2007 and December 2012 at the Francisco Gentil Portuguese Institute of Oncology of Oporto. Age, primary disease, staging, the extent of surgical resection, radiotherapy treatment, timing of TEP, surgical and prosthesis-related complications were noted. The impact of these clinicpathological factors on functional outcome, complications of TEP and lifetime of prosthetic valves was assessed in univariate analysis. Vocal rehabilitation efficacy with voice prosthesis was assessed with the multidimensional Harrison-Robillard Shultz (HRS) Rating Scale. Lifetime of voice prosthesis and early and late complications were recorded. Results: A total of 83 patients met the study criteria, predominantly males (94%) with a mean age of 63.7 years. 77% of the patients underwent primary and 23% secondary TEP. 68.7% of patients achieved functional tracheoesophageal speech (HRS score ≥ 10), 67.2% had performed primary TEP and 73.7% had performed secondary TEP. The mean device lifetime was 9.8 months for voice prosthesis. Prosthesis-related complications occurred in 81% of the patients and the most common issues were prosthesis leakage (76%) and displacement (22%). The most common surgical-related problem was a large and deep tracheostoma. Conclusions: Our success rate of voice rehabilitation was comparable to that reported in published literature with a satisfactory median device lifetime. Because of its safety and simplicity, tracheoesophageal puncture is considered to be an effective method for voice rehabilitation after total laryngectomy.
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