Objective: To determine the frequency of the phenomenon of phantom larynx in post total laryngectomy.
Study Design: Descriptive cross section study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Combined Military Hospitals Rawalpindi and Lahore from Sep 2015 to Aug 2016.
Material and Methods: A total of 51 patients were assessed at six months and 1-year interval of laryngectomy. A questionnaire containing six questions was presented at six months and one year to total laryngectomy patients.More than 4 positive responses indicated presence of phantom larynx phenomenon. The questionnaire assesses nasal airway and breathing, functions of larynx and adaptations after laryngectomy.
Results: All the patients were males. The Patients were divided in to two groups depending whether they were assessed at six months or at one year Patients varied in age from 48 years to 74 years. Mean age of patients was 62 years. Thirteen patients (81%) showed positive phantom larynx phenomenon at six months whereas eighteen patients (51%) showed positive phenomenon at one year after operation. Phantom larynx phenomenon was compared between two groups assessed at six months and one year. No significant difference in trends between the two groups was observed except for the question pertaining to straining while lifting (81% vs 68%).
Conclusion: In our study we identified phantom larynx phenomenon in post-operative patient's total laryngectomy patients. The phenomenon persisted strongly for six months while it was also found at one year postoperatively. It can result in lot of anxiety and even depression in laryngectomy patients which could greatly hamper rehabilitation process in these patients.
Keywords : Amputation of limb, Cortical reorganization, Laryngeal cancer, Phantom limb, Total laryngectomy.