Speaking with a voice prosthesis can give you the most natural sounding and easy to understand voice. Learn more about what a voice prosthesis is and what to consider when you get yours.
How it works
A voice prosthesis is a plastic device, usually made of medical grade silicone. It will be placed between the food pipe (your esophagus) and windpipe (your trachea) during the total laryngectomy, or in a secondary puncture. The voice prosthesis has two flanges to keep it in place – one at the side of the food pipe and one at the side of the windpipe. Between these flanges there is a smaller tube which contains a one-way valve. This valve will open when speaking, and close while breathing and eating to prevent any foreign bodies entering your windpipe (e.g. saliva, food or drink). By occluding your stoma, the exhaled air will be redirected through the voice prosthesis into your food pipe. As this air travels through your food pipe, the tissue will vibrate and create a sound. This is called tracheaesophageal speech (TE speech). These days tracheaesophageal speech has proven to be the most successful method to be able to speak again after a total laryngectomy.
Different types of Provox voice prosthesis
The Provox system offers a complete range of standard voice prostheses and accessories to provide users with good voice quality, low speaking effort, easy device maintenance and wearable comfort.
The Provox Vega is a standard device that will most likely be your first voice prosthesis. Clinical studies show the device is more durable and provides the best voice quality, while requiring the lowest speaking effort and being the easiest to clean. A majority of users selected the Provox Vega as their preferred voice prosthesis compared to others on the market.
There are also several specialty voice prostheses and accessories available.
Advantages of speaking with a voice prosthesis:
- Easy to learn – functional speech achieved quickly
- More normal voice quality – fluent speech with normal phrasing and longer phonation time
- Usually the easiest to understand