Saturday, September 21, 2019

Voice Box Transplantation: Be Heard Again

The more I read the news about organ transplant the more I am amazed at what scientists are

trying to do. After face transplant, arm transplant, uterine transplant now we have voice box transplant. This has to be a very complicated surgery where nerves have to be connected together. A group of Doctors in UK is planning to perform the first surgery of this kind in that country but it will be the third in the world. Professor Martin Birchall, from University College London (UCL), will lead a team carrying out the procedure on a man or woman whose voice box has been damaged by cancer or accident according to the Telegraph report.

What is a Laryngectomy?

A laryngectomy is the surgical removal of the larynx (voice box). The patient who had a laryngectomy done will need to breathe through an opening in their neck called a stoma (tracheostomy). In order to be able to make some sound or to communicate 3 options are available. A prosthesis can be installed by a surgeon to simulate a larynx. The two other methods are the use of an electrolarynx where a device is applied against the throat and produces sounds similar to a robot. Lastly, the patient can learn to talk with his esophagus but this is a difficult technique to master.

What are the Causes for Laryngectomy?

Throat cancer is the leading cause of laryngectomy. This form of cancer has usually a high incidence in smokers but non-smoker can too have throat cancer. Trauma, such as car accident can also necessitate this life saving surgery. It is a life-saving surgery because patients in need of that surgery run the risk of having their larynx close on them and not able to breathe anymore. Around 3,000 laryngectomies are performed annually in the US.
Larynx Transplant Implications

Loss of a larynx removes many things that make us quintessentially human, through loss of speech, swallowing and altered appearance,” Prof Birchall said in the Telegraph. The goal of this uncommon organ transplant is not a life-saving one like for kidney or liver transplant; it is more about quality of life. The patient has to weigh the risks and benefits of having to be on immunosuppressant for the rest of his or her life. Some questions are left unanswered. What happens if the body rejects the new transplant? Does it need to be removed or is a tracheostomy needed again? Those are questions that a candidate to this surgery should ask his surgeon. I guess some people are ready for anything when it comes to being “normal” again. What’s next now?

Controversial British voice box transplant given go-ahead

Pierre Luc Charland
Pierre Luc Charland
Aside from being a very experienced transplant coordinator in the Houston area, Pierre is also an amazing content creator for our properties. Pierre plays a key role in driving our mission and offering expert insight to the ever evolving world of transplantation.

Facebook Comments

Regular Comments


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Must Read

Five Shocking Facts about Transplant Medications

According to UNOS, 19,513 transplants were performed between January and June 2019. While their diagnoses and organ needs differ, all transplant recipients share one...

Trump’s New Kidney Dialysis Directive To Save Lives And Money

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at reducing the cost of kidney treatment by increasing the availability of kidney transplants. According to...

Disparity Persists In Kidney Transplantation for Hispanics and African Americans

For two decades now, there has been a campaign to increase the number of Hispanic and black patients receiving kidney transplants from related and...

It’s Time to Eliminate the Monopolies in Organ Donation

We have always been told that competition makes people or businesses better, right??  It pushes us to work a little harder which at the...

Ever Think About Donating Part of Your Liver? On Average Over 400 Americans Do Every Year

The Ed Henry story is helping promote living donation for liver transplantation. Ed Henry is a journalist for Fox News and he decided to donate...