Swallowing difficulties caused by a voice prosthesis in a laryngectomee

I. Brook*, L. Cord, M. Orestes, B. Davidson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The role of voice prosthesis (VP) in causing swallowing difficulties has not been thoroughly evaluated. A laryngectomee with dysphasia caused by a VP is presented. Case Report: A 77-year-old laryngectomee presented with dysphagia. He had hypo pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, which was treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy 13 years earlier. Cancer recurrence 2 years later required laryngectomy and forearm free flap restoration. The patient used trachea-oesophageal speech for communication using Provox® Vega 22.5/Fr 6 mm. Diagnostic endoscopy revealed significant oesophageal stenosis at the upper portion of the flap immediately below the VP. The VP was replaced with a 22.5 Fr/4 mm Provox® Vega that was modified by cutting out its distal hood that protruded into the oesophageal lumen. The patient noted an immediate improvement in his dysphagia that persisted through the 14-month follow-up. Conclusions: This report underscores the need to evaluate the role of VP in laryngectomees with swallowing difficulties. Obstruction generated by oesophageal protrusion of the VP can be alleviated by installing a thinner prosthesis and/or when possible by changing the location of the puncture to a new site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-413
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Annals of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Laryngectomee
  • Speech
  • Stenosis
  • Tracheo-oesophageal voice prosthesis


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