India sees about 10 lakh new cases of cancer each year. Of these 25, 000 cancers roughly aﬀect the throat. Typically, early stages we are able to preserve the voice box through radiotherapy. Even in advance cases of that cancer such as stage 3 we can oﬀer chemo radiotherapy and save voice box in 80% of the patients. However, patients with throat cancer coming in stage 4 end up losing their voice box because by then the voice box is completely destroyed by cancer. An opening or stoma is created in the front of the neck of these patients which helps them to breathe, though they are unable to speak. Such patients can speak once again with the help of TEP Voice Prosthesis.
Tracheoesophageal Voice Prosthesis (TEP)
A Tracheoesophageal Voice Prosthesis (TEP) is a device that allows air to travel from the esophagus to the mouth which vibrates the tissues in the throat or lower pharynx. This vibration produces sound, which becomes the new voice of these patients. A TEP Voice Prosthesis device uses a one-way valve which opens to push up air and closes completely to prevent food and liquid to enter the trachea from the esophagus.
Aum Voice Prosthesis
The AUM voice prosthesis is a simple, non-invasive and cost effective device made for laryngectomy patients. This device, although economically priced, comprises of all the required features present in any TEP voice prosthesis available. After the insertion of the AUM prosthesis in the patient after laryngectomy, it allows the patient to speak even in the absence of a larynx. The partial shutter relatively opens when the air is exhaled from the lungs and allows the air to pass through from the second end to the first end of the cylinder. This mechanism also prevents the entry of food particles into the second end, thus preventing fungal infection in the prosthesis and extending the life span of the prosthesis. The presence of rings in the voice prosthesis helps in preventing the piston effect thus increasing the life span of the prosthesis in the patients.
Science would be incomplete if it were only to remain a hope for future, but unable to serve the present & be inaccessible to the needy. Thus intentions in innovations is the driving force that should form the basis and foundation of scientiﬁc breakthroughs.
"India's concept of development should be looked beyond limited and inadequate milestones of GDP, which could even be achieved through illegal or criminal activity by giving it hands of smugglers and pirates. Let us envision an India which stands tall to inspire the world, and look at development as expansion of freedom."
"Healing is too serious a business to be left alone to doctors."
Justice M N Venkatachaliah Ex chief Justice of India & Chancellor of Puttaparthi University
“My voice is my birthright. My heartfelt thanks to Dr Vishal Rao for giving my voice back.”