Indexed on: 01 Aug '07Published on: 01 Aug '07Published in: Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery
We introduce our newly designed voice restoration technique, which uses free ileocaecal patch transplantation for patients who have undergone prior total laryngectomy. Two women received ileocaecal patch transplantation for secondary voice restoration after total laryngectomy. In order to make the tracheoesophageal shunt for speech, a new orifice on the anterior wall of the hypopharynx had to be opened, which was closed at the time of laryngectomy. The hypopharyngeal orifice was covered by a free caecal patch harvested from an ileocaecal segment. Then, a tracheoesophageal shunt was created by anastomosing the terminal ileum of the patch and the remnant of the cervical trachea. Expiratory air was diverted into the pharynx through the ileum of the transplanted graft when the tracheostoma was closed by digital occlusion. Aspiration through an oesophagotracheal shunt in swallowing was prevented by the ileocaecal valve on the patch. Both patients began to speak up to 4 weeks after surgery without requiring training or difficult practice to achieve initial phonation and to be able to swallow without aspiration. The advantages of our procedure are (1) it can be carried out at the time of laryngectomy and also at secondary voice restoration after earlier laryngectomy; (2) the graft contains an ileocaecal valve that prevents aspiration through the shunt and also functions as a vibrating device to produce voice; (3) our procedure can be adapted to individuals whose tracheostoma is detached from the oesophagus and becomes contraindicated for a voice prosthesis. We believe that our newly designed procedure is a unique and useful alternative, especially for secondary voice restoration after prior total laryngectomy.