Patients with head and neck cancer are seen in The Speech and Swallowing Center, first for a non-invasive diagnostic exam and again immediately after cancer treatment.
Digital laryngeal videostroboscopy is a non-invasive diagnostic tool. A tiny camera sits on the patient's tongue and records real-time video of the patient's vocal cords. The doctor and/or speech and swallowing therapist studies the wave function of the vocal cords, the tissue surrounding the vocal cords and the condition of the airway as the patient breathes.
Understand how radiation therapy has affected the function of the throat and vocal cords
Laryngectomy (surgical removal of all or part of the larynx or voice box) affects a patient's ability to speak and swallow. Our speech and swallowing therapists teach patients adaptive techniques that allow them to continue with a normal life.
The patient's voice can be restored or amplified with a natural-sounding prosthetic voice tube. The end result is that most people who have undergone surgical removal of the voice box can go back to work. They can continue, for example, working in offices, making board room presentations, even lecturing in classrooms.