This prospective study was undertaken to assess the predictive value of esophageal insufflation on the acquisition of tracheoesophageal (TE) speech. Fourteen total laryngectomy patients were evaluated prior to tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP) using objective esophageal pressure measurements. These patients then were followed prospectively for 6 to 13 months. Speech was assessed at the time of prosthesis fitting, at 1 month, at less than 6 months, and at greater than 6 months post-TEP. No patient underwent pharyngeal myotomy. Pre-TEP esophageal insufflation pressure was associated (P.065) with successful TE speech at the time of prosthesis fitting, but was not associated with successful TE speech acquisition after 6 months. This study's results suggest that patients with poor pre-TEP esophageal insufflation test results will usually obtain successful TE speech given adequate time and training, even without pharyngeal myotomy.
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