Postlaryngectomy Olfactory Rehabilitation and Swimming

Dubravko Manestar, Robert Tićac, Koraljka Manestar, Željko Linšak, Davor Čorak, Marcel Marjanović Kavanagh, Drago Prgomet, Radan Starčević


The aim of the study was to determine the influence of swimming on postlaryngectomy olfactory rehabilitation. This prospective open interventional trial at a tertiary academic hospital included 100 laryngectomised patients; 17 were swimmers and 83 were nonswimmers. Participants practiced the polite yawning technique (PYT) for postlaryngectomy olfactory rehabilitation. Rhinomanometry was used to measure air quantity in the right and left nostrils, respectively; to test sense of smell, we applied the smell diskettes olfaction test (SDOT). Swimmers used swimming aids and swam only in a pool accompanied by another person trained in the rescue and resuscitation of a laryngectomee. Measures were made at three time points. Following PYT initiation, the number of accurately guessed odours was higher among swimmers (SDOT1 = 5.29, SDOT2 = 6.40, SDOT3 = 6.76) than nonswimmers (SDOT1 = 3.73, SDOT2 = 5.48, SDOT3 = 5.60) as were airflows through the left (swimmers: FL1 = 40.82, FL2 = 137.71, FL3 = 172.80; nonswimmers: FL1= 13.05, FL2 = 104.63, FL3 = 113.00) and right nostrils (swimmers: FR1 = 46.82, FR2 = 115.41, FR3 = 145.40; nonswimmers: FR1 = 13.70, FR2 = 92.77, FR3 = 106.43). The number of odours identified by laryngectomised patients increased with the volume of nasal airflow, but this number and the efficiency of olfactory rehabilitation were higher in swimmers compared to nonswimmers. Swimming with a swimming aid improved the quality of life after surgery and may facilitate resocialisation of laryngectomised patients.


laryngectomees, olfaction, rehabilitation, swimming, swimming aids

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