- Voice quality and surgical detail in post-laryngectomy tracheoesophageal speakers
- European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
- Volume | Issue number
- 273 | 9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
The objective of this study is to assess surgical parameters correlating with voice quality after total laryngectomy (TL) by relating voice and speech outcomes of TL speakers to surgical details. Seventy-six tracheoesophageal patients' voice recordings of running speech and sustained vowel were assessed in terms of voice characteristics. Measurements were related to data retrieved from surgical reports and patient records. In standard TL (sTL), harmonics-to-noise ratio was more favorable after primary TL + postoperative RT than after salvage TL. Pause/breathing time increased when RT preceded TL, after extensive base of tongue resection, and after neck dissections. Fundamental frequency (f0) measures were better after neurectomy. Females showed higher minimum f0 and higher second formants. While voice quality differed widely after sTL, gastric pull-ups and non-circumferential pharyngeal reconstructions using (myo-)cutaneous flaps scored worst in voice and speech measures and the two tubed free flaps best. Formant/resonance measures in/a/indicated differences in pharyngeal lumen properties and cranio-caudal place of the neoglottic bar between pharyngeal reconstructions, and indicate that narrower pharynges and/or more superiorly located neoglottic bars bring with them favorable voice quality. Ranges in functional outcome after TL in the present data, and the effects of treatment and surgical variables such as radiotherapy, neurectomy, neck dissection, and differences between partial or circumferential reconstructions on different aspects of voice and speech underline the importance of these variables for voice quality. Using running speech, next to sustained/a/, renders more reliable results. More balanced data, and better detail in surgical reporting will improve our knowledge on voice quality after TL.
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