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Develoment of a prosthesis for voice restoration after total laryngectomy


Surgical treatment of a malignant tumor in the throat often results in removing the larynx (with the vocal folds and epiglottis). This treatment, called laryngectomy, has very radical consequences. The trachea is lead outside through an opening (stoma) in the neck which is alxays visible and thus vurdens the patient psychically. A shurtvalve is placed between the esophagus and trachea. Speech is only possible bny closing the stoma with a finger, hereby forcing the expired air to flow through the shuntvalve into the esophagus. This produces very limited speech of low frequency and a reduced loudness. Althoough this is a life saving treatment there are major disadvantages of which the poor quality belching like speech is one of the most important. We aim to eliminate this drawback by developing a fully imolantable voice restoring prosthesis which enables individual adjustment of frequency and intensity of speech and will produce a sound that copies the sound of natural vocal folds. This prosthesis for the vocal forlds can be incorporated in the shunt valve which is placed between the trachea and esophagus. The project will be ended with a protoype which is tested in vitro and in vivo. Further development of the prosthesis at the end of the project is required in order to create a product suitable to conduct a clinical evaluation and adjustmenst that will allow mass production.


VOF Medin Instrumenten Groningen
15,Van Lenneplaan
9721 PG Groningen

Participants (1)

ESKA Werkzeugbau und Kunststofftechnik GmbH & Co.
23556 Løbeck