Q: How long will it take me to learn to speak after my total laryngectomy?
A: It is important to begin to restore communication immediately following surgery to improve quality of life for the patient. The electrolarynx is usually learned by most individuals within several sessions/weeks. Esophageal speech requires training over several months while TEP speech is often successful immediately after placement of the first prosthesis with brief training on care and use of the prothesis needed.
Q: Will I be understood on the phone?
A: Depending on the voice restoration method chosen and clarity of speech produced, being understood on the phone will vary. Most patients are successful communicating on the phone. There are certain techniques the individual can use to improve speech on the phone:
- Pacing- focusing on each word
- Open Mouth Posture- increasing loudness
- Overarticulation- exaggerating speech sounds to help clarify words
- Phrasing- pausing between phrases to give your listener time to process what he/she has heard