Groundbreaking Voice Box Transplant Made A California Woman Speak

larynx

In 2010, a  larynx (voice box) transplantation was performed on a woman in California who couldn't speak. The procedure allowed her to speak for the first time in 11 years. Larynx transplantation is one of the most difficult and complex transplant procedures ever performed. The surgical team at UC Davis Medical Center successfully transplanted the larynx, thyroid gland and trachea in a 52 year old woman who had lost the ability to speak and breathe on her own for years.

This procedure is the second documented case of larynx transplant in the world since the first successful transplantation in Cleveland Clinic, 1998. It not only allowed her to breath and speak independently, but also restored her sense of taste and smell, something she missed doing for a decade.