What is laryngectomy?
A laryngectomee is a person who has undergone the surgical removal of the vocal cord (laryngectomy) usually necessitated by a cancerous growth on the vocal cords. As a result, the person loses the ability to speak and must breathe through a hole in the neck called a 'stoma'.
In addition to Speech Pathology Services, the program utilizes the expertise of trained laryngectomee visitors to assist the patient and family with the adjustment process. A local support group, the Pensacola Association of Laryngectomees and Spouses (better known as PALS), meets monthly to provide encouragement and education. They also maintain a loan closet of available laryngectomy equipment, which is available to support group members.
The Speech-Language Pathology Department offers a comprehensive program following a laryngectomy, which includes:
- Speech and language evaluation to determine the most appropriate type of alaryngeal speech
- Training with artificial larynx
- Training in the use of esophageal speech
- Placement and training with the tracheoesophageal prosthesis following additional surgery
- Patient family education regarding tracheostoma care and maintenance of the artificial larynx
- Diagnosis and treatment of swallowing difficulties (if present)
A physician's prescription is required for an evaluation and treatment. For more information, call (850) 494-6161.