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The missing tracheoesophageal puncture prosthesis: Evaluation and management

| Reprints
February 25, 2013
by Shelby C. Leuin, MD; Daniel G. Deschler, MD

Abstract

Placement of a tracheoesophageal puncture prosthesis in the post-laryngectomy patient has significantly improved voice rehabilitation in this population. Rarely, the prosthesis may become dislodged, necessitating medical evaluation. We present the case of a 61-year-old man who presented to our Emergency Department with a missing prosthesis. We describe the evaluation and management of this patient and review the relevant literature. We conclude with the following algorithm: When a patient presents with a missing prosthesis, evaluation of the tracheobronchial tree must be performed. Once the pulmonary system is cleared, the prosthesis can be presumed in the gastrointestinal tract and allowed to pass. A new prosthesis or catheter should be placed in the tract to prevent aspiration.

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