Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tonsillectomy and Voice Change

I'm a singer and there is a possibility I will have to have a tonsillectomy. What will the tonsillectomy do to my voice? I heard that I might lose part of my upper register. Is that true? Also how long after a tonsillectomy can I begin singing again?

Melissa Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP replies...

In the short-term, individuals who have had a tonsillectomy may experience an alteration in resonance, but this resolves completely in most cases (in some cases, singers actually report improved resonance as removal of their often enlarged tonsils allows for greater resonating space!) There is no specific surgical consequence in which reduced pitch range would be expected, although sometimes a brief change in vocal quality may be noticed secondary to vocal cord swelling because of placement of the endotracheal tube for ventilation during the surgery; this typically resolves in a day or two.

Best of luck to you.
Melissa Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP

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