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April 1985

Deterioration of Voice Prostheses Caused by Fungal Vegetations

Author Affiliations

Groningen, the Netherlands

Arch Otolaryngol. 1985;111(4):280. doi:10.1001/archotol.1985.00800060104019

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To the Editor.—During the past few years, there has been a widespread use of silicone-rubber valves, which are inserted into tracheoesophageal fistulas to facilitate the voice restoration of laryngectomees. In the beginning, one of the major problems encountered in using these "voice prostheses" was the daily routine of the mandatory removal, cleaning, and replacement, a routine that proved to be difficult for many patients and that resulted in several complications.

The Groningen button is one of these silicone-rubber valves—it was one of the first prostheses that was self-retaining and self-cleaning, resulting in a placement for a longer period; a period that varies considerably between patients. The mean device lifetime of the button is slightly more than three months, and the range varies from a few weeks to more than 30 months. A relationship was suspected between this varying, but limited lifetime and the deposits that were found on the

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