How does glossectomy affect speech?
Speech outcome after glossectomy depends on the site of the tumor, the extent of removal of the tongue, and flexibility of the remaining structures.
Rehabilitation of speech with the help of a speech therapist plays a vital role in preventing severe speech problems and re-establishing interpersonal communication. Rehabilitation makes use of oral facilitative exercises, direct articulation techniques, compensatory techniques, surgical procedures, and prosthetic appliances.
Oral facilitative exercises: This type of exercise helps improve the strength and range of movement of the articulators (lips, tongue).
Direct articulation techniques: Also known as speech-sound therapy; it involves working on the placement of articulators inside of their mouth to correctly produce their sounds.
Prosthetic procedures are preferred usually than surgical procedures.
How do you eat after glossectomy?
If only a small proportion of your tongue has been removed, you may be able to eat through your mouth.
If a major proportion or whole of your tongue has been removed, you may not be able to eat through your mouth. The doctor will insert a long tube known as a gastrostomy tube into your mouth that goes into your stomach. The nurse will administer feeds through this tube.
Good nutrition is vital to the healing of the surgical area and for preventing major weight loss after the surgery. The gastrostomy tube is attached to a bag filled with fluid that contains all the important nutritional elements.