Voice Feminization Surgery Boston
You should look the way you feel, and at The Spiegel Center we have tremendous ways to help you achieve your appearance goals. Similarly, you should sound right for your appearance. If your voice is too deep or masculine for your appearance, perhaps we can help!
As a board-certified voice surgeon, in addition to being a renowned facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Spiegel was trained in and performs voice surgery regularly.
We a number of procedures available to elevate the pitch of your voice. In the past, a procedure called cricothyroid approximation (CTA) was the most popular way to do this. However, this procedure made the Adam’s apple look larger, and wasn’t as effective or long lasting as desired. Other procedures that have been done include tightening the vocal cords with a laser or shortening the cords surgically.
Today, Dr. Spiegel is getting excellent results by doing a modified Wendler Glottoplasty. In this procedure, the front third (approximately) of the vocal cords are treated with a laser or microlaryngeal instruments and then carefully sewn together. This effectively shortens the vibratory length of the cords and elevates the pitch similar to the way the pitch of a guitar string goes up when you shorten its length by putting your finger on a fret. For some individuals, a laser is also used to tighten the cords and reduce their mass which can also help to adjust the pitch.
Speech therapy is helpful before and after for the best results, and remember, pitch is just one component of having a lovely feminine voice, but our voice feminization surgery can do wonders for the right person. Listen to some examples and then contact us to learn more!
In this next example we have a voice surgery procedure followed by 3 weeks post-op voice. As you can hear there has been much improvement which will only continue to improve over time.
Pre-op Before Voice
Post-op Before Voice
Several procedures have been described in the past and Dr. Spiegel (who is board certified in voice surgery as well as in facial plastic surgery) has written a book chapter describing these techniques for other surgeons. Most of the time today we recommend shortening the length of the vocal cords. This procedure has been popularized recently in Korea, though Dr. Spiegel has been doing similar voice surgery since 1995.
Using a microscope, we look carefully through your mouth at the vocal cords. The chords are then surgically prepared and shortened with dissolvable stitches, making them up to a third shorter. Dr. Spiegel may sometimes recommend that botulinum toxin (e.g. Botox) be injected at the same time in order to relax the vocal chords for the next several weeks after surgery. This procedure can be done before or after you have had a “tracheal shave” procedure to reduce the Adam’s apple if desired.
Once the surgery is over it is important to be at total voice rest while healing, about 2 weeks. This is the hardest part! This period of not speaking, shouting, or whispering allows the delicate stitches we place to dissolve and permits the vocal cords to heal precisely where we put them. Afterwards you may begin speaking but it will be several more weeks before you should consider shouting, singing, loud speaking, or karaoke!
Additional voice therapy is typically necessary afterwards. Adjusting your vocal cords gives you a new instrument but you still need to learn how to use it beautifully!
To learn more about voice feminization (pitch elevation) surgery, or other ways that we can help you to look and feel your most beautiful, contact Dr. Spiegel today.