Everyone has been asking this question thanks to the results of a study published in Plastic Reconstructive Surgery in January 2014. Conducted in Iran, the study concluded that patients should be advised of the risk of voice changes following a nose job.
But will rhinoplasty really change your voice? Maybe. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
The source of all the buzz surrounding rhinoplasty and voice changes is a study conducted in Iran involving 27 Farsi speakers. According to the director of the study, 22 of the 27 participants appeared to have more nasal-sounding voices following their procedures. In these patients, vowel sounds were more nasal than usual. To confirm this impression, the lead researcher and his colleagues relied on patient self-assessment as well as a computer program for analysis of acoustic sounds.
Some critics of the study say that nasal airflow measurements should have been taken before and after surgery. In North America, some facial plastic surgeons say, voice changes are not a common complaint. Some surgeons have pointed out that it may depend on how you use your voice and in what language; in certain Middle Eastern languages, for example, music relies on the nasal cavity for sound more than music in English does.
Despite its flaws, many critics believe the findings of the study are compelling enough that it should be repeated under better conditions.
So What’s the Verdict?
Some facial plastic surgeons in the United States believe that patients don’t need to worry about voice changes following rhinoplasty, as long as they choose a board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in rhinoplasty. While this is certainly a good idea, it’s not that simple.
Dr. Rizk believes that rhinoplasty can, in fact, affect a patient’s voice. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If, for example, you have an excessively nasal voice, rhinoplasty can address this by opening the breathing airways.
However, a drastic change in voice can also be a bad thing in some cases. For example, if you are an actor or singer and you rely on your current voice in your career, you may want to at least consider the potential for voice changes before deciding to have rhinoplasty.
That being said, some singers report that they can sing better because of improved breathing following nose surgery. This is particularly the case among patients who have had their septums repaired and among those who have had their turbinates reduced during nose surgery.
Each patient and each surgery is unique, so it is impossible to know how a nose job will affect you until you are examined and until the procedure has been performed. If you are concerned about alterations to your voice stemming from nose surgery, make sure to discuss it with your facial plastic surgeon. He or she should evaluate you and let you know if there is a reason to worry about voice changes or any other factors.
Avoiding Unwanted Voice Changes
While it’s hard to predict the outcome of your nose surgery, there are some precautions you can take.
Start by choosing a well-qualified surgeon. A good place to start is the website of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), which has an MD finder. Look for a surgeon who emphasizes dedication to care and safety, and who has extensive experience and proven results. Recognition from peers, such as “Top Doctor” nominations and awards, is another good indicator, as are appearances in the media. Also look for evidence of a high patient satisfaction rate; patient testimonials, for example. It is also important that you view before and after photos in the surgeon’s photo galleries.
If you are thinking of having nose surgery in the New York area but are concerned about voice changes, consider having your surgery with Dr. Rizk. He takes every precaution to avoid unduly altering his patients’ voices during nose surgery. For example, instead of using an endotracheal tube in the voice box, he uses an LMA tube outside the voice box so that he doesn’t touch the vocal cords.
He also takes other steps to ensure that his patients have positive outcomes. Dr. Rizk uses advanced 3D equipment and complex surgical techniques for increased precision and less downtime.
Dr. Rizk has not seen drastic changes in the impact of rhinoplasty on voices. He operates on professional singers who don’t note a change in the sound of the tone of voices.
Dr. Rizk has extensive experience not just in plastic surgery, but also, more specifically, performing a variety of nose surgeries. He has an excellent track record of positive results. Dr. Rizk has performed numerous complex nose surgeries and revision rhinoplasty procedures. He performs these procedures on a regular basis — usually several times a week.
To learn more about Dr. Rizk or to get answers to your questions regarding rhinoplasty, contact Dr. Rizk’s office today.