Surgery can change the shape of the patients mouth; result in loss of all or part of the tongue and/or the voice box. In some cases, a tracheostomy is required, which leaves the patient with a tracheostomy tube inserted in their windpipe to enable them to breathe properly. It is possible to speak with a tube fitted by using a variety of techniques. The National Tracheostomy Safety Project has some great videos and demonstrations to assist patients (http://www.tracheostomy.org.uk/healthcare-staff/vocalisation). We have included links to two specific videos from the site that we think you may find particularly helpful.
Speech and language specialists will be able to explain exercises and techniques to enable patients to exercise their elocution skills to improve their communication skills.