Q&A after the operation
Where can I find the right help if I have problems with my voice prosthesis when I am travelling?
Within Europe, most ENT university clinics have stocks of the usual voice prostheses and are able to change them. Specialists in private practice can often change a voice prosthesis if the patient has the right one with him. However, they don't usually have their own stocks of them. The manufacturers often have lists with the details of contacts in other countries for contacts outside Europe. In the USA and other English-speaking countries, speech and language therapists are primarily responsible for voice prostheses.
You will find details of the specialists known to us here:
Voice prosthesis specialists worldwide
Can I change the voice prosthesis myself?
Indwelling type voice prostheses should be changed by a professional (SLP or ENT Specialist). Non-indwelling prostheses are changed by the patient after an adequate training. This means the patient is independent of medical support.
Non-indwelling prostheses - indwelling prostheses
Who will help me if I have problems with my voice prosthesis?
Your first point of contact if you have problems with your voice prosthesis will usually be your SLP or ENT specialist. The clinic or hospital that fitted the voice prosthesis is also there for you as a competent contact. And if all else fails, you are welcome to come to our outpatient department.
How soon does a faulty voice prosthesis have to be changed?
The most frequent fault with a voice prosthesis is leaking from the valve, accompanied by fluid escaping into the wind pipe. Fluid escaping into the wind pipe can lead to pneumonia, and so it should be resolved as quickly as possible. If possible, a leaking voice prosthesis should be changed on the same day. Alternatively, the leakage may be stopped with a plug until the prosthesis is changed.
Voice prosthesis accessories - plug
How often does a voice prosthesis have to be changed?
Standard indwelling prostheses last an average of 3 months, regardless of the manufacturer. However, the actual lifetime varies considerably from patient to patient and prosthesis to prosthesis. If the intervals between changes get shorter and shorter, a special prosthesis should be used.
Does it hurt to have the voice prosthesis changed?
No. The manipulation of the wind pipe will make you cough at first, and takes a little getting used to. However, you should not experience pain.