European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 272, Issue 3, pp 661–672 | Cite as

The development and treatment of periprosthetic leakage after prosthetic voice restoration: a literature review and personal experience. Part II: conservative and surgical management

  • Kai J. LorenzEmail author


In the past 30 years, the use of voice prostheses has become the gold standard for voice rehabilitation after total laryngectomy. The placement of a voice prosthesis is a simple procedure that is associated with only a minor increase in operating time and a low rate of complications. Most problems with voice prostheses are minor and can be easily managed. Enlargement of the tracheo-oesophageal fistula, however, can be a severe complication. Approximately 25 % of all patients with voice prostheses develop periprosthetic leakage with aspiration within 1–4 years after the placement of a voice prosthesis. Depending on the severity of fistula enlargement, treatment ranges from conservative approaches to maximally invasive procedures. In some cases, however, these measures prove unsuccessful. The causes of treatment failure and fistula enlargement are not yet fully understood. Apart from a discussion of treatment options, an algorithm for the management of this complication is presented on the basis of the literature and the experience that we have accumulated at our institution during the past 20 years in the treatment of 232 laryngectomised patients.


Voice prosthesis Voice rehabilitation Laryngectomy Management of complications Periprosthetic leakage Laryngeal carcinoma 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck SurgeryGerman Armed Forces HospitalUlmGermany

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