Royal belgian soc ear, nose, throat, head & neck surgery
B-ent vol:4 pages:47-52
Changes in swallowing after partial resection of larynx and hypopharynx. Eating is a necessity of life and it requires swallowing, which is a physiologically complex process. Head and neck cancer itself and its treatment may cause severe disruption of the swallowing process as a result of the tumour bulk, the disturbance of sensitivity and motor function, and organ deficit. Broadly speaking, swallowing dysfunction can manifest as diminished propulsion of the bolus, and aspiration. Swallowing rehabilitation is multidisciplinary teamwork comprising. modification of posture, protective swallowing manoeuvres, bolus control, diet modification, oral hygiene, the use of instruments and supporting psychosocial care. It should be started as early as the pre-treatment phase to optimise nutritional status and the psychosocial condition of the patient, and therefore quality of life. Postoperative radiotherapy appeared to have the greatest impact on patients' health-related quality of life independent of other clinical factors following surgery for laryngeal carcinoma. After-care for irradiated laryngeal carcinoma patients should focus more on the patient's quality of life and swallowing function.