The quality of life in patients with total laryngectomy
Authors: Raluca GRIGORE, Alina L. A. OANCEA , Catrinel SIMION-ANTONIE, Bogdan POPESCU, Liliana NITU, Paula BEJENARU, Gloria MUNTEANU, Anca CIRSTEA, Mihnea CONDEESCU, Luiza SIRETEANU, Amer OTHMAN, Bianca TAHER, Simona RUJAN, Ruxandra NEDELCU, Teodora DIACONU, Denisa MITRAN, Elena ARJOCA, Teodora POPA, Claudiu CURCA, Roxana ANDRONE, Alisa DIMCEA, Alexandru NICOLAESCU, Serban V.G. BERTESTEANU
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Introduction. The quality of life of patients after total laryngectomy is influenced by both the disease and the radical therapeutic interventions. After surgical treatment, vocal rehabilitation, along with pulmonary and deglutition rehabilitation, are necessary.
The objective of the study was to assess the quality of life in patients with total laryngectomy.
Materials and methods. A questionnaire with 14 questions was randomly addressed to 100 patients with total laryngectomy who presented to Coltea Clinical Hospital, Bucharest, Romania, over a period of three months.
Results. Fifty patients answered that they had no pain. Regarding everyday activities, 34 patients answered that they were as active as before surgery. Regarding their appearance, 50 patients answered that there is no change, or the change is minor, while 39 answered that their appearance bothers them, but they remain active, and 5 answered that they feel disfigured and limit their activity, while 6 patients answered that they cannot be with other people because of their aspect. 34 patients answered that they could swallow as well as prior to surgery, other 34 patients answered that they cannot swallow certain foods, while 21 answered that they only swallow liquid food or are dependent on a feeding tube. Regarding everyday activity, 67 patients answered there are times when they cannot keep up with their old pace, but they get out of the house and enjoy life. About their mood, 38 patients answered that they were not in a good mood, nor depressed, while 36 said their mood is generally good and only occasionally affected by cancer. Six patients answered that their mood is excellent, while 15 patients were somewhat depressed and 5 were extremely depressed.
Conclusions. The quality of life is influenced by the patients’ appearance after total laryngectomy, and their ability to maintain everyday activities. Swallowing, taste and saliva quality have a great impact on the quality of life of patients with total laryngectomy and also influence their nutritional status.