Thursday, August 16, 2012

Voice Change After Surgery

3 months ago I had a surgical procedure that removed the carotid body tumor by a vascular surgeon.  After surgery my voice changed and became hoarse. I can not scream or raise my voice or call any one in another room and my voice is very low and unclear.  The doctor tells me it's just a matter of time and will return as it was.  Is this true or should I review with another doctor?

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

Surgery to remove a carotid body tumor can result in damage to the vagus nerve, which would impact voice and, in some cases, swallowing. Given your symptoms, I would certainly recommend that you see an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician for an evaluation of your larynx. If there is a vocal fold paralysis, which can be a complication of injury to the vagus nerve, short- and long-term options for voice improvement exist.
Best of luck to you.

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