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Keywords:

  • head and neck neoplasms speech alaryngeal

Forty-nine patients who were free of tumour 5 months to 14 years (mean 30 months) after total laryngectomy or a commando precedure were given questionnaires designed to obtain the patient's assessment of their resulting disability. Sixteen areas of disability were studied grouped under five main headings: speech, eating, cosmetic, employment and social. Following laryngectomy more than half of the patients achieved successful communication by oesophageal speech. Success in this was usually associated with minimal problems in other areas. The disabilities after commando procedures were more varied and complex. more patients reported severe disability in more than one area. Difficulties with chewing and swallowing were prominent. The results aere illustrated with patients comments. Ways in which rehabilitation might be improved are considered.