Also a study was performed to investigate whether the use of an HME could prevent the development or reduce the severity of respiratory symptoms by initiating use of the device as soon as possible following total laryngectomy.7 Comparing the pulmonary complaints in a regular user and a non-regular user group at 3 and 6 months postoperatively, statistically significant group differences over time in the frequency of forced expectoration, and stoma cleaning and marginally significant differences in sputum production were observed. A clear trend could be seen, with regular HME users reporting a decline in respiratory symptoms over time as compared with non-regular HME users who reported an increase in these symptoms. These results show that an early start can prevent the development of respiratory symptoms considerably. From these and other studies, it can be concluded that, at present, the only effective non-pharmaceutical treatment of pulmonary problems in laryngectomized patients is the regular use of an HME.
See also page on Early postoperative hygiene.