Purpose of review: To review the current practice of rehabilitation for laryngectomees in Hong Kong.
Recent findings: Factors affecting the quality of life of laryngectomees include their performance in speech restoration, the presence of complications of treatment, as well as the availability of psycho-social support. In Hong Kong, more than 90% of laryngectomees have speech restoration by various means, the commonest of which being tracheo-oesophageal puncture and electrolaryngeal speech. However, they face special problems in communication using the current alaryngeal speech modalities, as it is difficult to produce variation in tones, which is important to express different meanings in Cantonese. The responsibility of surgeons to follow-up patients after surgery and the practice of management of common complications after laryngectomy are also discussed. The New Voice Club of Hong Kong promotes self-help and mutual help between laryngectomees, with the aim of helping new members to regain normal speech and to re-integrate into society. Quality-of-life study in Hong Kong shows that although the mean global health score is satisfactory, the social functioning domain is most severely affected after surgery.
Summary: Cantonese-speaking laryngectomees in Hong Kong are facing unique challenges in speech restoration and re-integration into society after surgery. Surgeons should take the leading role in the multidisciplinary management of these patients.