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 8

General Anesthesia During Rhinoplasty

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General anesthesia is the most common type of anesthesia used during rhinoplasty surgery. The sedative is administered to ensure the patient’s utmost comfort and to allow the surgeon a wider range of access to improve the look of the nose. As long as you choose an experienced, board certified surgeon with a reputable practice, you should rest assured that the anesthesia administered during your rhinoplasty surgery will most probably have no adverse effects on your singing voice. I would advise you to move forward with the nose job, should this be something you have thoroughly considered, and to avoid getting overly-stressed about the rare risks associated with anesthesia. Instead of focusing on what can go wrong, focus your attention on your excitement for your new self-image. 

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Risk of intubation

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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.  

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

General Anesthesia for Singer Too Risky?

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 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
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tubes for General Anesthesia

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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.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

General Anesthesia For Singers

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

General anesthesia for singers

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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. 

General anesthesia risk for singers

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Risk of vocal cord injury after intubation

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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 178 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.