Overcoming Laryngectomy: Regaining Voice and Leading a Normal Life


Laryngectomy survivors can lead fulfilling lives. Thanks to modern rehabilitation techniques and a positive outlook. This was the message from experts and survivors at Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre’s (RGCIRC) recent patient programme held at Rohini in the national capital.

Dr Mudit Agarwal, head of Head and Neck oncology at RGCIRC, explains that while Laryngectomy effectively removes advanced laryngeal cancer, it comes with side effects with losing natural speech and requiring a tracheostomy. But he assures successful rehabilitation of patients stating, “We rehabilitate patients through voice prostheses, electrolarynx and esophageal speech techniques, allowing them to regain communication and improve their quality of life. “

Dr Vijay Agarwal, Speech Therapy Consultant, further emphasizes the benefits of speech rehabilitation. “It takes a bit of time, but patients start communicating again within months. The tone and pitch may be slightly different,” explained Agarwal.

Dr Harsha Agarwal, head, Psycho Oncology, RGCIRC underscored the crucial role of a positive attitude in the recovery process. She cited the examples of Laryngectomy patients who are leading normal lives, emphasizing the importance of self-belief and continuous striving. She also highlighted the significant role of family and caretakers in providing support and encouragement.

Dr Navneet Singh, head Physiotherapist at RGCIRC emphasized the importance of physiotherapy in helping Laryngectomy patients regain neck and shoulder function, allowing them to return to their daily activities.
Stories of Hope and Resilience from Survivors

The survivor’s gathering brought together numerous warriors who shared inspiring stories from their journeys.

One of the survivors, Sunil Sharma said, “I am leading very similar to anyone present here. The initial couple of months were a bit challenging, but now I am performing all the activities that I was doing prior to surgery. The only difference is that I am not able to play football as I used to do earlier.”

Another survivor Neeraj Shroff, too, echoed similar sentiments. “I have a business to run, but immediately after the successful surgery, my body was not allowing me to work for more than four to five hours. It is only after four-five months that I regained my stamina and today I am working 10-12 hours a day or even more depending upon the need.”

Also, present on this occasion Jaikishan Soni narrated his experience saying, “There is no difference in the quality of life I used to lead earlier and now. A lot of credit goes to my family, particularly my wife. Initially, taking a bath was a bit of a problem, but not anymore. The key to recovery is ‘being positive’ and life returns to normal.”

The stories of these survivors serve as an inspiration to others facing Laryngectomy. The patient program became a platform for hope, marking a new chapter of their lives with boundless opportunities.

They demonstrate that with the help of modern techniques, support from healthcare professionals and loved ones, and a positive attitude, a fulfilling and normal life is possible post-surgery.

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