The Power of our Voices – Voice Feminization Surgery
It has been said that the tongue can paint what the eyes cannot see. This beautiful expression succinctly conveys the power of our voices. With our voices we communicate, alert, share, query, express, and emote. We can sing songs and spin tales. But, the stories we tell involve much more than the words we speak.
How we speak also conveys a tremendous amount of information. Our accent, volume, dialect, and emotion add depth and background to our stories. The same words can be spoken with underlying fear, love, irony, sincerity, surprise, or delight.
Our voices express our confidence, emotional status, and even our gender. When our voices don’t fit the words we speak, our emotional state, or our gender it can be discomforting to both the speaker and the listener. Several vocal characteristics go into having a gender consistent voice, and one of these is the pitch.
Men tend to have voices at a lower pitch than those of women. However, fortunately, we have a very effective way to make sure that the voice matches the gender. This is Voice Feminization Surgery.
There are several techniques I've used over the years. One is cricothyroid approximation (CTA) where the vocal cords are stretched to raise the pitch. Though this procedure can be effective, the results may be short lived and the appearance of the Adam's apple is often increased in the procedure. (Not what we want!) Also, an incision on the neck is required to do this procedure.
More commonly now we use a modified Wendler Glottoplasty. This surgery is done through the mouth. The vocal cords are seen through a microscope and the front 35% are sewn together after being prepared with a laser and microsurgical instruments. After the vocal cords heal the voice should be significantly higher. Most patients who have this procedure note that they are typically gendered correctly on the telephone and their voices are very feminine even without effort (such as when awakening from sleep, coughing, or laughing).
The procedure takes about one hour and requires no overnight stay in the hospital.
Voice Feminization Surgery has become a very popular way to make sure that ones voice
matches their gender and self. This improves self confidence and quality of life.
We at TSC are very proud to help people live the best lives they can. Voice Feminization is one
important part of that.