Technological Advances in Alaryngeal Speech Rehabilitation In 1873, a surgeon by the name of Theodore Billroth completed what is often regarded as the first successful laryngectomy for cancer on a human being (Billroth & Gussenbauer, 1874). The very patient on whom Billroth operated was fitted with an artificial larynx consisting of a tube inserted between ... Article
Article  |   July 01, 2006
Technological Advances in Alaryngeal Speech Rehabilitation
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeff Searl
    The University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City, KS
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   July 01, 2006
Technological Advances in Alaryngeal Speech Rehabilitation
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, July 2006, Vol. 16, 12-18. doi:10.1044/vvd16.2.12
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, July 2006, Vol. 16, 12-18. doi:10.1044/vvd16.2.12
In 1873, a surgeon by the name of Theodore Billroth completed what is often regarded as the first successful laryngectomy for cancer on a human being (Billroth & Gussenbauer, 1874). The very patient on whom Billroth operated was fitted with an artificial larynx consisting of a tube inserted between the trachea and pharynx with an internal reed to serve as the new voice source. A long line of instrument makers, surgeons, dentists, patients, engineers, physiologists, speech scientists, speech-language pathologists, materials science specialists, and others have devoted their efforts to developing and refining the technology that has allowed laryngectomized individuals to re-establish functional oral communication. When examining the most sophisticated technological approaches utilized in laryngectomy speech rehabilitation today, it is easy to see direct links back to even the earliest attempts from the 1900s. In that sense, it can be difficult to define what constitutes a technological advance in this area. This article is focused on recent technological advances in laryngectomy speech rehabilitation from the perspective of a speech-language pathologist in a country with Western medical practices. A sampling of advances within approximately the past 5 years and current research that holds promise for technological advances in the future are described briefly below. Surgical advances are not considered here.
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