Most people who have had a laryngectomy are able to speak afterwards, but in a different way to before their surgery.
Learning to speak again is likely to feel distressing to start with and can be difficult to cope with, but alternative ways of communicating have improved. The type of communication you use will depend on your individual situation, your type of surgery and what you would prefer to use.
A speech and language therapist will visit you before your operation to discuss different ways of communicating. You may be able to watch videos of people talking after a laryngectomy or meet someone who has had similar surgery. Some people find this very helpful, while others prefer to have written information or to meet someone after they have had the surgery.
We have a video of a speech and language therapist and someone who has had a laryngectomy. They discuss different ways to communicate, including using a voice prosthesis valve.
Your surgeon and speech and language therapist will talk to you about putting in a small valve, called a voice prosthesis valve, at the time of your operation. This will allow you to develop a new voice after your operation.
There are other ways to help you communicate if you don’t have a valve. These include:
- an oesophageal voice
- an electrolarynx
- a combination of the two methods.