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General Anesthesia for Singer Too Risky?

I am a professional singer with a rhino scheduled for oct. 23.My Doctor said he thinks general anesthesia will be best for me as I am pretty nervous about the surgery and getting alot done to my nose. What are the chances intubation will cause damage to my vocal chords ? I am NOT willing to risk damage to my singing voice .Also My doctor isnt using regular intubation but has a "shorter" tube that wont damage the vocal chords. Is that a technique that other ent's/ Plastic surgeons commonly use for singers?

Doctor Answers 7

Risk of intubation

The risk of intubation causing problems with your voice is extremely small.  I understand your apprehension about it, but intubation with rhinoplasty is the safest way to go.  

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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General Anesthesia for Singer Too Risky?

 We have performed many Rhinoplasties under general anesthesia, including those done for actors, actresses and singers.  I would not allow a singer to be intuibated for a Rhinoplasty but use an LMA instead.  An LMA does not go through and between the vocal cords but rather sits above the Larynx.  Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tubes for General Anesthesia

General anesthesia refers to the fact that you are totally out and the anesthesiologist is controlling your breathing. They can use an endotracheal tube that goes through the vocal cords or what is called a Laryngeal Mask, a shorter tube that fits over the trachea and has a minimal chance of injuring the vocal cords. It sounds as if tour surgeon is planning on having the anesthesiologist use the latter.

General Anesthesia For Singers

Prior to scheduling surgery, ask your Plastic Surgeon to schedule a consult for you with an M.D. Anesthesiologist. Share your concerns, as this is the best person suited to answer your question.  Disclose any medications you are taking, and discuss your medical history with him.  Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

General anesthesia for singers

I agree with everything the previous responder summarized so well. The only thing about the LMA is that it doesn't completely protect your lungs from blood which can drip down the back of your throat. 

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

General anesthesia risk for singers

When general anesthesia is used, a tube is inserted between both vocal cords. There is very small risk to the vocal cords. A very small risk. A "small tube" may mean one of two things, either and LMA (laryngeal mask airway) as Dr. Park suggested above or a smaller diameter tube. The LMA poses almost zero risk to the vocal cords because it does not touch them. The smaller diameter tube poses less of a risk than if a larger tube is used. I think either way, if the anestheisologist is gentle and careful, you will be ok.

Andres Bustillo, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Risk of vocal cord injury after intubation

There is always a bit of a sore throat after intubation for a general anesthetic. And, there is always a small risk of injury to the vocal cords with the use of an endotracheal tube. By short tube, I assume you are referirng to LMA or laryngeal mask anesthesia. This type of airway control during the administration of a general anesthetic uses a device that is positioned above your vocal cords. So, there is no contact with your vocal cords. However, you may still wake up with a temporary sore throat. Thank you for your question. Good luck with your surgery.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.