Speech therapy in total glossectomy – case study

Camila Alves Vieira

Rev Soc Bras Fonoaudiol. 2011;16(4):479-82

Curative surgery for tongue cancer results in sequelae that harm the good functioning of the stomatognathic system. The aim of the present study is to describe a case study, reporting the evaluation and evolution findings of the speech-language pathology rehabilitation of the swallowing and speech functions of a 58-year-old man submitted to total glossectomy in June 2009. After evaluation, the subject was diagnosed with severe mechanical oropharyngeal dysphagia and alteration in speech articulation. Speech rehabilitation used direct and indirect therapies. Indirect therapy focused on oral motor control, sensitivity, mobility, motricity, tonus and posture of the structures adjacent to the resected tongue. Direct therapy used the head back posture maneuver to help the ejection of food into the pharynx. The patient started exclusive oral feeding, except for solid foods, after ten months in treatment. Over-articulation, speed and rhythm exercises were used to improve speech intelligibility. Thus, the results of speech-language pathology intervention were considered positive, and the patient was discharged after a year in treatment. It is concluded
that tongue resections present significant sequelae to swallowing and speech functions and, therefore, speech-language pathology intervention activity is indispensible for the modification and adaptation of these functions, in addition to providing the patient with better quality of life.
Keywords: Mouth neoplasms/complications; Tongue neoplasms/surgery; Postoperative complications; Glossectomy; Deglutition disorders/rehabilitation; Articulation disorders/rehabilitation; Speech therapy.


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