Objective: To determine the olfactory function among post-laryngectomy patients using a
questionnaire adapted from that of the Smell and Taste Clinic of Hospital of University Pennsylvania (HUP) and the Santo Tomas Smell Identification Test.
Design: Descriptive study
Setting: Tertiary Private Hospital Outpatient Department
Patients: Twenty five subjects who had undergone total laryngectomy and met
inclusion and exclusion criteria underwent rigid nasal endoscopy and olfactory function
assessment using an adaptation of the questionnaire of the Smell and Taste Clinic of Hospital of University Pennsylvania (HUP) and the Santo Tomas Smell Identification Test (ST-SIT).
Results: Twenty one male subjects completed olfactory testing. All had subjective sense of smel before laryngectomy. Statistically significant correlation was noted between the subjective post-operative smell function and the objective olfactory function test scores. There was no statistically significant difference noted in the ST SIT scores with regards age, duration from laryngectomy to olfactory testing, number of smoking pack- years, use of olfactory technique/maneuver, loss of appetite and adjunctive chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Conclusion: All subjects post-laryngectomy had subjective complaints of varying levels of
olfactory difficulties based on a structured questionnaire and were documented to be anosmic
by an objective smell identification test. Olfactory problems following laryngectomy can
have significant effects on the lives of laryngectomees, and health care providers should be
knowledgeable of available management options for this condition.