Loss of a functional larynx has marked implications for quality of life that remain after both laryngectomy and its alternatives. One solution is laryngeal transplantation. We hypothesised that laryngeal transplantation would be unacceptable to a population of laryngectomees, and that such a lack of acceptability would not be affected by age, sex or time elapsed since operation. In addition, we sought the views of laryngectomees on priorities for research. A questionnaire was developed and mailed to 1000 members of laryngectomee clubs. A total of 372 of 404 responses were suitable for analysis. Seventy-five percent of the respondents said they would accept a transplant under ideal conditions; the number dropped to 58.9% when a stoma was to be retained. Fifty percent would accept a graft even if it did not result in a normal voice. A positive response was more likely in younger respondents (P < 0.001 all questions; linear regression). Some 47.3% of respondents thought research money could be better spent on other projects, and this response was commoner in older respondents (P = 0.0001). Highest priorities for research into laryngeal cancer were development of new treatments (63.2%), prevention (60.2%) and optimisation of quality of life (57%). In short, there appears to be a surprisingly high level of support for laryngeal transplantation amongst those who have had a laryngectomy.
- Larynx transplantation
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