Just over 20 years after losing the ability to speak, a woman regained her voice thanks to a larynx transplant in France.
Karine, who is now 49 years old, lost her ability to speak due to complications related to an intubation performed after suffering a cardiac arrest in 1996. She developed laryngeal stenosis, a gradual “tightening” of the throat that makes it difficult for air to pass into the lungs.
Her condition worsened and, for more than two decades, Karine was breathing only through a tracheostomy — a procedure that creates a frontal opening in the trachea to allow air to pass through — and was unable to speak.
The larynx transplant surgery was performed in early September by a team of 12 surgeons at a hospital in Lyon, France, and lasted around 27 hours.
A few days after the transplant, Karine was able to speak a few words. She continues to do exercises to recover her vocal cords and breathing, and doctors predict that, in a few months, she should be able to communicate with a normal voice.
“I wanted to have a transplant, about ten years ago, to return to a normal life, to be able to do activities with my children, to be able to communicate, to be independent. Today it feels strange to speak again. My daughters had never listened to me! As for my husband, he had forgotten the sound of my voice!”, said Karine.
The larynx transplant performed on Karine was only the fourth procedure of its kind carried out in the world.
Source: CNN Brasil
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