Management of late complications represents the main reason for reluctance in using voice prosthesis rehabilitation. The aim of this paper is to report our experience by describing the one-year management of a large cohort of patients in order to clarify how demanding management is in terms of burden on clinicians. Between June 2017 and June 2018, each access made at the Otolaryngology Clinic of our Institute for issues related to prosthesis by 70 laryngectomised patients rehabilitated by voice prosthesis was registered in a specific database. A review of the data provided information on the incidence, management and outcomes of adverse events encountered during the selected time frame. In addition, a T test was used to evaluate the differences between irradiated and non-irradiated patients and between primary and secondary tracheo-oesophageal-puncture. Leakage through the prosthesis was the most common cause for access (51.86%). The median number of accesses per patient per year was 3.47. The speech therapist autonomously managed 18.1% of accesses. The median number of accesses per patient per year needing a physician was 2.84. The median lifetime of the prosthesis was 4.85 months. Radiotherapy or modality (primary or secondary) of the puncture did not influence the number of accesses per year or the prosthesis lifetime. This retrospective analysis of results highlighted the most frequent issues and the most effective measures to deal with them, which allowed us to define a systematic algorithm to standardise and ease long-term outpatient management.
- Total laryngectomy
- Voice prosthesis