Voice Surgery


Due to the unyielding presence of our voice, seldom do we think about what differences it will make if we suddenly lose it, or it suddenly changes. Speaking seems effortless for the majority of us hence we take for granted that voice, like all other aspects of our life, is affected by the things we do, the food we eat, and lifestyle we choose to live.

Through the first decades of adulthood, men's and women's voices generally remain stable in terms of pitch, tone, and loudness. As we age however, mucous membranes thin out and become dry, hence, women's voices tend to lower in pitch, while men's become higher. We also can't project our voices like we used to, and they become reedy, and we might notice our voices getting tired (reduced vocal endurance), or we might have difficulty being heard in noisy situations, or notice a shakiness as we speak.

We may not feel it while we are still at the prime of our lives, but as we get older, our seemingly innocent bad habits such as screaming throughout your favorite team’s game, talking on the phone all day, or having conversations a few times a week with friends in a pub or crowded restaurant take a toll on our vocal cords. Any of these -- practiced repeatedly -- can damage your vocal cords.

Smoking, drinking alcohol, lack of nutrition or obesity, sleeping late, and stress, are also major factors that can negatively affect our voice. This will usually take toll once you are well in your adulthood.

               Though non-surgical treatments are available depending on your main concern or the reason why your voice changed or why your voice doesn’t sound normal, surgical intervention or minimal invasive procedures are also available to rejuvenate the voice and bring back its normal pitch.


New research shows the sound of a person's voice strongly influences how he or she is seen. The sound of a speaker's voice matters twice as much as the content of the message, according to a study last year of 120 executives' speeches by Quantified Impressions, an Austin, Texas, communications analytics company. Researchers used computer software to analyze speakers' voices, then collected feedback from a panel of 10 experts and 1,000 listeners. The speakers' voice quality accounted for 23% of listeners' evaluations; the content of the message accounted for 11%. Other factors were the speakers' passion, knowledge and presence.

Though it is seldom necessary for people to need to undergo voice surgery while at the prime of their career, certain conditions may entail the need to do so. Other people, especially those afflicted with Puberphonia or Mutational Falsetto or the failure of the voice to drop in its pitch from the higher levels after puberty, may cause some self-esteem (psychological) problems with patients, if their voice is not corrected. This mostly happen in men.

We however developed a simple procedure to treat mutational falsetto successfully and normalize the voice after a single treatment.

For transgenders, voice surgery is one of the steps that they take in order to fully transform themselves into the person they want to be.


Voice Rest is the most important aspect of voice surgery recovery. Patients who would like to undergo the procedure should first have a reliable support person who will be your “voice” during the critical stages of recovery or the first week. Creating even unnecessary sounds such as grunting or throat clearing as any sound you produce will cause vibration to your vocal cords, which can delay healing so it should be avoided.

Playing musical instruments (wind instruments) may also result in contraction of the vocal chords which can also disturb healing. Weight lifting, straining in the bathroom, or any other activity that produces forceful vocal cord closure that may cause damage to the result of the procedure should also be avoided.

Huskiness of the voice is one of the rare but irreversible possible complications of the procedure. Should this happen, there is nothing we can do about the result.

Once you are given the permission by your doctor to use your voice again, use your normal tone and pitch; do not try to exert extra effort in changing your voice. Even if you are already allowed to talk however, minimize talking on the phone as much as possible during the first month as your voice may sound inaudible and thus require you to change pitch.

Avoid taking alcohol and caffeine for at least 6 weeks after the surgery.

Your voice will gradually settle to its normal pitch as you heal. Avoid shouting or raising your voice during the first 6 months after the procedure. Singing high pitch song should also be avoided.

  • Voice Surgery for Hoarseness

  • Voice Feminization

  • Voice Surgery for Aging Voice

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    Patients and methods

    During 1990-1996, there were 6 male-to-female transsexual patients enrolled in this study, aged 20-27 years (mean 23). All patients were subjected to complete physical and psychological evaluation preoperatively. Five of them had undergone sex organ conversion, and all had been using estrogen and progesterone regularly either orally or intramuscularly for many years.

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    Paucity of literature on surgery to alter vocal pitch in male transsexuals

    To date there is a paucity of literature on surgery to alter vocal pitch in male transsexuals. The currently available pitch-rasing surgical technique does not yield .a long term result and the resultant pitch is not high enough to simulate the female voice. We investigated a new procedure to alter vocal pitch. The principle is to shorten both vocal cords by composite resection of vertical strip of the anterior thyroid cartilage along with a segment. This resulted in a satisfactisfactory pitch alteration from an average of 147 HZ.

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    Surgical technique

    Under general anesthesia, each patient was placed in Rose position. A 4-6 cm long transverse cervical incision was made at the point half way between the superior thyriod notch and the inferior border of the thyroid cartilage. Superior and inferior skin flaps were then developed, the strap muscles were separated at midline, and the thyroid cartilage was exposed.

  • Raising the Vocal Pitch

    Currently there are two well documented methods of raising the vocal pitch :
    1. Cricothyroid approximation, the first procedure ever described to alter vocal pitch. As the name implies, it involves bringing the thyroid and cricold cartilages together by suturing, keeping the vocal cord in tension, thus elevating the vocal pitch. This method was introduced by Isshiki1 in 1976, which he performed in 2 patients, followed by a larger series in 1983 in which he successfully raised the vocal pitch in another 11 patients2. The primary indication in both of his series was androphonia in the female. However, the pitch increase using this approach was often insufficient, and was often accompanied by regression owing to inevitable suture loosening3.

Yoskarn Clinic
Tel. (662) 253-8901 ..(662) 254-7679 

Voice Surgery, Cosmetic Laser Surgery