Laryngectomees must never swim without a special device because the tracheostoma lies very close to the surface of the water, or even below it, when swimming. So the appropriate steps need to be taken to safely prevent water from entering the wind pipe. Special swimming devices have been developed for this purpose. They consist of a blockable tracheostomy tube that is connected to a pipe. The pipe is taken to the mouth and retained there by a mouthpiece, similar to that of a snorkel. Now the air inhaled when breathing is guided through the nose, the mouth and the swimming device to the tracheostoma. The tracheostomy tube of the swimming device must be blocked very safely and carefully so no water can enter the wind pipe. However, this cannot be done with every tracheostoma. If there is any doubt regarding the stability of the tracheostoma, or if it is difficult to choose the right cannula size, then seek the advice of an ENT practitioner with experience of tracheostomas. It is also a good idea to obtain practical instruction in the use of a swimming device for laryngectomees. Such instruction is provided by the swimming advisor of any laryngectomee association.
NOTE: in some countries it is mandatory to visit an instructional course on water therapy for laryngectomees prior to the use of a swimming device!
- Tracheostomy tube with cuff
- Corrugated tube with mouth piece
- Syringe for inflation