Speech Valve

Malignant tumour or lumps on the voice box (Larynx) frequently occur in middle aged people, who have a history of smoking and drinking alcohol. Lesions develop on the vocal cords (Glottis) and the upper part of the larynx, which is located above the vocal cords (Supraglottis). Radiotherapy can be given for early lesions. Then it is possible to retain patients voice. If radiotherapy is unsuccessful or the cancer is advanced in the begining or there is a recurrence of tumour after radiotherapy, then surgery is recommended to remove some or all of the voice box (Partial or Total Laryngectomy). Many patients undergoing laryngectomy will need an artificial valve to allow air to pass through the wind pipe to the gullet. Air in the gullet vibrates the muscular walls generating voice. This is a one way valve allowing only air. This will not allow food particles to pass from gullet to wind pipe. This valve can be inserted at the time of operation or at a later date when the wounds are healed. One way function of this valve ceases after about two years. Then it has to be replaced with a new one.Voice generated from this method is more natural than from electrolarynx.