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July 1968

The Laryngectomee and Lifting

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Dr. Coyne, Mr. Payton, Mr. Klein, and Mr. Kressler) and the Division of Otolaryngology (Dr. Stram), University of Maryland Hospital, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore. Dr. Coyne is now at the Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital, Phoenix, Ariz.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;88(1):80-83. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00770010082015

MANY PEOPLE who have had a laryngectomy return to work following their surgery. Several investigators1-3 have found that from 60% to 80% of such patients were able to return to employment, many doing heavy manual labor. Other than these epidemiologic studies, very few data exist which furnish objective measurement of the work capacity of the laryngectomee. There are obviously many variables to be considered. Tsukerber2 has shown that the state of respiratory and cardiovascular functions following removal of the larynx does not change from preoperative values. In his study 26 patients were also observed on a stationary dynamometer and were found to have only a 3% to 5% reduction in strength following their surgery.

In spite of these convincing studies, there is still prevalent today the idea that the laryngectomee cannot lift and is thus disabled. This idea may persist because several noted laryngologists4,5 have stated that

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