Voice Deepening Surgery
At the London Voice and Swallowing Clinic we offer two voice-deepening procedures for those whose tone and projection is not aligned with how they might wish to sound. The procedures enable the individual to achieve a richer, deeper pitch, more in line with how they wish to be perceived.
Extended Window Laryngoplasty
Our preferred technique delivers a reduction of up to 30Hz with low risk of long-term voice and surgical complications. The procedure is performed through open surgery. A three centimeter long incision is made on the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple, so that the voice box can be accessed. Then a diamond shaped section or ‘window’ is cut in the voice box cartilage. This leads to the shortening and relaxing of the vocal folds, which in turn leads to a deeper voice. This procedure is performed under general or local anaesthetic.
Type III Thyroplasty
For those looking for greater pitch reduction, Type III Thyroplasty, is also available. This procedure can result in a reduction of up to 50Hz, but does carry a greater risk of pitch irregularity and long-term hoarseness. Type III Thyroplasty is also performed through open surgery, under general or local anaesthetic and again involves the creation of a three centimeter long cut at the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple. The incision allows access to the thyroid cartilage which is then cut vertically down both sides to allow the edges to overlap, relaxing the vocal cords and deepening the voice as a result.
Your recovery - what to expect
Voice deepening surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and patients are discharged on the same day. The procedure takes about one hour, and 48 hours of relative voice rest is recommended. You can talk, but it should be kept to a minimum. Patients may choose to stay awake during the surgery so that they can monitor the progress of their voice. In this instance the procedure will be carried out under local anaesthetic.
It is natural to want to hear the results as soon as possible but it is also important not to rush your recovery. While it may take several months for the voice to fully adjust, you will get a good indication of the results in the days and weeks following the procedure. Allow yourself plenty of time to rest with a gradual return to normal voice use over one to two weeks after the operation. Avoid straining your voice or raising it excessively.