• Voice prostheses;
  • radiotherapy;
  • saliva;
  • biofilm;
  • laryngectomy


Objectives To establish a relationship between voice prosthetic lifetime in laryngectomized patients and the irradiation dose applied to the neck node levels (field of the neck) in which the major salivary glands are partially included. Furthermore, a possible relationship between voice prosthetic lifetime and the irradiation dose applied to the primary tumor site was studied.

Study Design A retrospective analysis was performed on 101 patients after laryngectomy.

Methods The records of 101 patients who underwent total laryngectomy between January 1993 and November 1999 at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands, were analyzed. The following parameters were obtained: age, sex, radiotherapy, radiation fields, irradiation dose per field, tumor site, TNM classification, and valve insertion.

Results Irradiation to extensive neck fields, including the submandibular glands, did not influence the voice prosthetic lifetime after laryngectomy. However, primary tumor doses exceeding 60 Gray significantly shortened the mean voice prosthetic lifetime per patient.

Conclusions This study identified an association between radiation on the primary tumor site with a dose equal to or more than 60 Gray and limited lifetimes of voice prostheses.