Will My Tonsillectomy Affect My Voice?
So, as a professional vocalist, I teach my students that your unique voice is created because of your whole body...and the cavities in your throat, mouth and nasal passages. It makes sense to me, that if remove something from that cavity, it's going to change the sound of the persons voice? Am I the only one with this question?
Apparently not. Lots of professional vocalists, broadcasters, and others who count on their voice for a living, have that concern. I've searched for answers not only with my Doctor, but also with others on the internet. Why would a professional then, even consider having their tonsils removed? The list is LONG:
- Frequent infections of the tonsils
- Sleep problems due to large tonsils
- Recurring tonsil stones
- Chronic sickness due to infections of tonsils
- One larger tonsil
COMPLICATIONS FROM THE SURGERY
Typically, tonsillectomy's are a very safe procedure. The most complications can come in the first 1 to 2 weeks from bleeding of the tonsil bed.
MAKING THE DOCTOR AWARE
Probably the first suggestion I found was to make sure you let your Doctor know if you use your voice for professional purposes. Because the tonsils sit on the pharynx muscles, it affects palate elevation and configuration of the vocal tract. Some techniques can affect the voice. There is such a thing as a Singer's Tonsillectomy, in which they can be more careful about the tissue being removed. I think I'm going to write "Broadcaster" on my forehead so they remember I need my voice for everything I do.
There is a long recovery window. I'm hoping that I'll be back in working condition in three weeks, but I'm expecting two weeks of vocal rest, for sure. Typically this is a very safe procedure, but you do want to make sure your doctor knows your feelings. I can't help but be a little freaked out. Are there precautions you can take? Can you take insurance out on your vocal chords? I'm not sure..but if Jenniffer Lopez can have insurance on her legs, surely I should be able to have insurance on my voice?