New Procedure Reduces Downtime for Voice Feminisation Patients

We are delighted to announce the introduction of a new technique for voice feminisation patients which delivers increased pitch while reducing the downtime typically associated with this type of procedure.

As the name would suggest, Vocal Fold Muscle Reduction (VFMR), is aimed at reducing the volume of the vocal folds through the use of a CO2 laser. The laser decreases the mass of vocal fold while the resulting scar stiffens the cords increasing their vibration frequency. The effect is to bring the pitch within the expected range of an adult who has not been through a male puberty.

The procedure requires only minimal postoperative voice rest and mild pain relief. It is performed under general anaesthetic endoscopically, via the mouth, resulting in no external wounds or scars.

Lead surgeon, Chadwan Al Yaghchi, explained: “At the London Voice and Swallowing Clinic we are at the cutting edge of developments in the field of gender affirming voice. We understand the impact that voice dysphoria can have on gender diverse individuals and we are constantly striving to deliver the very best and most innovative procedures to the trans and non-binary community.

“This is one of the reasons we have introduced this new procedure. VFMR benefits patients who would like to further increase the pitch they have achieved following Wendler’s Glottoplasty, the gold standard approach to voice feminisation. However, it is also an excellent first line procedure for professional voice users, for whom Wendler’s Glottoplasty might not be appropriate, due to the associated risks of long-term voice change.”

Patients report high rates of satisfaction, complications are rare and only 72 hours of post-operative voice rest are required, compared with the six week recovery period required with Wendler’s Glottoplasty.

While patients will experience some hoarseness as part of their recovery, this will have fully settled by month six. The risk of permanent hoarseness is exceedingly rare. Other rare complications include bleeding, pain, infection, damage to the teeth and injury resulting from laser use.

Mr Al Yaghchi concluded: “We are delighted to bring the very latest procedure to our service users and we will continue to push the envelope for our patients in this field to ensure they can achieve the results they desire to enable them to navigate the world authentically.”