Printer Friendly

World's first laryngeal transplant recipient almost fully recovers voice.

Two years after the world's first and, to date, only laryngeal transplant, US doctors reported that the patient has almost completely recovered his vocal capabilities.

"He has pitch--not perfect, but he absolutely speaks in a normal voice with pitch, which is almost impossible to imagine without hearing it, but it is truly amazing--it still gives me goosebumps," said surgeon Marshall Strome, MD, chairman and professor of otolaryngology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, where the surgery was performed.

The transplant recipient had sustained severe trauma to his larynx in a motorcycle accident 20 years previously and could speak only with the aid of a device pressed against his throat. During the groundbreaking operation, Strome replaced 70% of the patient's larynx with donor tissue.

"We now know that it takes 1.5 years for the voice to completely mature to what it's going to be after transplant," said Strome, who believes that the surgery will become more routine in the coming years. Potential candidates include the nearly 10,000 Americans diagnosed each year with laryngeal cancer. "The next patient will be someone who is 5 to 10 years after having his or her larynx resected."

The high cost of the operation--about $110,000--and the fact that it's not yet covered by insurance makes it prohibitively expensive for hospitals and patients. "The letters I get (from patients) would make you cry, saying that they just want to be human again," Stone reported. "I have patients lines up for this operation, but they can't afford it. We had a lot of publicity at the time of the surgery...but 2 years later, the money just isn't there."
COPYRIGHT 2000 Transplant Communications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Comment:World's first laryngeal transplant recipient almost fully recovers voice.
Publication:Transplant News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 16, 2000
Words:275
Previous Article:Chinese researchers report success in using cloning to create embryos from human somatic cells.
Next Article:Japanese scientists report successfully cloning calf from cell of a cloned bull.
Topics:


Related Articles
Liver transplant transfers peanut allergy.
Three states pass laws requiring organs be offered first to patient's on state's waiting list before sharing
First hand transplant recipient's graft deteriorates while second showing "excellent" progress, say physicians.
Nitric oxide given patients following lung transplants improves survival.
California Pacific pilot program gives transplant patients "virtual visit" with transplant team.
World's first hand transplant recipient has limb amputated as second recipient happily celebrates 2nd anniversary.
World's first laryngeal transplant recipient has found his voice as motivational speaker.
THE YEAR IN REVIEW IN TRANSPLANTATION.
Transplant patients vulnerable to West Nile virus.
First face transplant, Internet solicitation for donors, fabricated stem cell data major news events in 2005.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters