Monday, January 24, 2011

Larynx Transplant

I'm a Speech-Language Pathologist, and I ran across this article and was very excited! I've not seen this before and wanted to share. I've done cadaveric dissection and know what the larynx looks like first hand. I've seen all the parts in our throat that allow us speech. I've seen the nerves and blood vessels and cartilages and musculature that connects here, and know the ramifications of injury to these. I know the hard work it takes to retrain the muscles to function properly for speech and swallowing, but I also know the hardship of having to carry and use an electric larynx (and check those prices!). I've trained a patient in how to use one and he was so disgusted with the whole thing, he chose for a long time to just use hand gestures. Not always kind ones. And I understood. Frustration! Embarrassment!

I wish this woman well. I am so happy that her quality of life is returning to her ideal. Ah, a shower again! Swimming! Eating tube-free! Freedom!

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