The valveless Nijdam prosthesis is a new voice prosthesis for laryngectomized patients using tracheoesophageal speech. An “umbrella-like hat” covers the esophageal side of the tracheoesophageal fistula and is deformed during speech by air pressure. To decrease pressure loss during speech, a good understanding of the mechanical behavior is essential. In the present study, the Finite Element Method (FEM), used in engineering to analyze the mechanical behavior of complex structures, was applied to analyze eight possible improvements of the Nijdam prosthesis. This study found that, during speech, deformation of hat and soft tissue occur. Distinct differences in the hat’s deformation of the eight models also were found. It is concluded that complex structures like the Nijdam prosthesis can be analyzed by FEM. An optimal model was found to decrease pressure loss while stresses in the device remain safe.
ASJC Scopus subject areas