- The Japan Broncho-esophagological Society
- 日本気管食道科学会会報 (ISSN:00290645)
- vol.48, no.4, pp.297-302, 1997-08-10 (Released:2010-02-22)
The treatments for patients with severe dysphagia and misdeglutition are very difficult. Some cases must have total laryngectomy or tracheo-esophageal separation to control their severe misdeglutition and prevent serious respiratory distress. However, in such cases, the phonatory function has to be sacrificed, resulting in a poor quality of life.In order to overcome this conflict between deglutition and phonation, we have developed an “artificial pharynx.” The artificial pharynx consists of a soft balloon and a plastic tube. The soft balloon is attached to a tube with an inlet hole. The whole assembly can be inserted through the patient's nose. The tip of the tube remains in the stomach and the balloon is inflated at the level of the pharynx to seal the airway. Our patient could breathe through a tracheal stoma which was created prior to using the artificial pharynx. The bolus was introduced through the inlet hole into the tube and moved down to the stomach by gravity. When the balloon was deflated, the patient could breathe and phonate with a speech valve of the cannula.We treated a patient using an artificial pharynx. He was a 62 years old male diagnosed as having terminal myotonic dystrophy and suffering from severe dysphagia. Because of his poor general condition, any surgical intervention for dysphagia and misdeglutition could not be performed without a tracheotomy. But, since he yearned to take some drinks and to preserve his phonatory function, the artificial pharynx was utilized with some success.