I have been thinking about thyroplasty as a way to deepen my voice. I don't have any medical condition per se, but as a guy it's really hard to have a voice like this. I am having a hard time finding out more about this type of surgery. Would most surgeons advise against it for my condition? Is it very dangerous? Is it available in the US? Are there less invasive ways to change my voice?
Lee Akst, M.D. replies....
I can only answer generally but cannot comment specifically about your case as I have not personally evaluated you. While a particular type of thyroplasty has been described as a way to deepen voice, it is not a commonly performed procedure - its greatest utility is in transgendered individuals, and I believe that there are some phonsurgeons in the United States that cater to this patient population. The reason it is not more commonly performed is because in males with a voice so high as to be appropriate for the surgery, there is often another reason for the high voice which is amenable to less invasive correction - for instance, puberphonia can be treated with voice therapy, and a laryngeal web can be treated with endoscopic lysis. If you have not been evaluated by a laryngologist, then your first step would be to consider specialty voice evaluation in an academic voice center.
Lee Akst, M.D.