Will Rhinoplasty Affect my Voice?

Does rhinoplasty change the voice? The job is going to work inside the nose. It is very importance for me because I'm a vocalist and it is very important for me.

Doctor Answers 14

Rhinoplasty and Voice

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This is a very good question, because this is obviously a concern for those who sing professionally.  My advice to patients is that although it is possible that there will be vocal changes, it is highly unlikely.  The biggest risk to the voice during Rhinoplasty is intubation, or placement of a breathing tube past the vocal cords.  To ensure the patients safety, I use a Board Certified Anesthesiologist to make sure that the intubation is smooth, and I place the patient on Prevacid (proton pump inhibitor for gastric acid control) for 1 week before and 1 week after the procedure.

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Many a Singer Has Had Rhinoplasty

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Hello, friend in Malaysia.

You need not worry. Rhinoplasty will not change your voice.

Dean Martin, a great and famous American singer never suffered any voice problems after his rhinoplasty. Neither did Milton Berle, Fannie Brice and others.

If rhinoplasty changes peoples' voices, fewer such operations would be done. Go for it!!!

Best wishes.

-Robert Kotler, MD, FACS

Robert Kotler, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Changes in Your Voice Are Possible, But Not Extremely Likely

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Being based in West Hollywood, we see many patients who work in the entertainment industry. A natural concern is whether rhinoplasty can alter the singing voice. If the patient has a severely deviated septum and a nasally voice to begin with, then a septoplasty to straighten the nose and correct breathing issues may potentially remove that nasally quality to the voice. Otherwise, a nose job will not have any affect on the voice.

Peyman Solieman, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Subtle changes in voice after rhinoplasty are possible

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Some patients may be concerned that rhinoplasty could lead to a change in their voice, particularly relevant to specific professions that are dependent on personal vocal character. There was a scientific research study published in the Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Journal in January 2014 that concluded that patients should be advised of a possible risk to voice changes following a nose job. This study was conducted in Iran, with Farsi speaking patients and there was a self-assessment component to the study that may have led to inaccuracies in the data collection and potential flaws in the study. Generally speaking surgeons in the USA and Europe, believe that the risk in rhinoplasty effecting voice is very small. There are many potential variables that can influence your voice and vocal acoustics including the anatomy of the voice box, ethnicity and language (Middle Eastern languages including Farsi can have a more nasal component relative to English or European dialects). Dr. De Silva believes that in the great majority of his patients voice is not affected by rhinoplasty, however in certain patients with specific anatomy, ethnicity, certain lingual dialects there maybe subtle changes in voice. Often patients who have functional breathing issues with their nose benefit from rhinoplasty, as the nasal airways may be opened during the surgery and the nasal tonality reduced.

Immediately after the surgery as a consequence of swelling there is likely to be a change in the quality of your voice as a consequence of swelling and congestion. However with the resolution of the swelling over the first period of weeks, the natural vocal characteristics return.

A further consideration in effecting voice during surgery is the type of anaesthesia. Geneal anaesthesia often involves placement of a tube inside your airway that has the potential to damage the vocal cords. Dr. De Silva continually uses newer technques to reduce potential risk and improve results, and avoids the potential for trauma in rhinoplasty by using twilight anaesthesia also known as sedation. By using sedation anaesthesia, no tube is placed in the airway, and this avoids potential mechanical damage to the airway associated with general anaesthesia.

Professionals dependent on their voice for career should consider subtle changes to their voice before undergoing rhinoplasty. Most people report an improvement in singing after rhinoplasty coupled with septoplasty with or without turbinectomy, as the airways are more open after surgery. However every person’s situation is unique and your concerns should be assessed and discussed with your surgeon. Although all surgery carries potential risks, the influence of rhinoplasty on altering voice is relatively small. Dr. De Silva takes care to ensure necessary precautions are taken with rhinoplasty to ensure the airway is maximized during surgery to improve breathing and reduce risk of changes to voice. Dr. De Silva has completed numerous rhinoplasty procedures on professionals dependent on their unique vocal characteristics including actors, actresses, vocalists, singers and celebrities taking precautions to preserve vocal character.

Rhinoplasty and your voice

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The rhinoplasty procedure should not affect the voice appreciably.  There might be some very, very subtle differences if this is a large volume reduction rhinoplasty and the patient is a professional singer.  It would be very subtle at best.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Will Rhinoplasty Affect the Voice?

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It's possible but doesn't usually create a problem. I discuss this with all my patients. In my experience over a number of years, including operating on vocalists, I have not had one tell me that their voice was adversely affected. If you are a highly paid professional singer, I would recommend more than one surgical opinion because I do think that it is possible for the resonance of the voice to be affected to some small degree and this might not be something you want to risk.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty Surgery affecting the Voice

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Hi Malaysia7444,

Great question.

Yes, rhinoplasty surgery could potentially alter the voice. Most of the voice changes are in the immediate period of healing due to swelling, mucous, or congestion, and generally resolves with time. Long-term changes to the voice can theoretically occur by altering the resonance of the voice. However, any voice changes are undetectable, except to professional vocalists. Some vocalists appreciate the change or improvement, while some don't. I agree with Dr. Yagoda, and only after a comprehensive evaluation can a rhinoplasty surgeon, laryngologist, and your vocal coach help determine appropriate options for you. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Rhinoplasty will not affect voice

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It is generally accepted that cosmetic rhinoplasty will not affect your voice. Not to worry. Dr. G

Edward J. Gross, MD
Orlando Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Voice Changes

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Properly done rhinoplasty should have no effect on your voice. If the internal functional aspects of the nose are improved during the surgery (such as fixing a deviated septum) there is a strong likelihood that your vocalization should significantly improve. This is because the air flowing through your nose through your vocal chords is freer to move with no obstruction. The other important thing to consider is that under general anesthetic a very small diameter tube should be place through the vocal chords in order to avoid any damage. I've operated on a number of celebrity singers and none of them have ever had any problems at all after the surgery. Of course, you must realize that there is always a tiny chance that voice changes could occur despite your best efforts and you must take this into consideration when deciding upon having elective cosmetic surgery.

Geoffrey W. Tobias, MD, FACS
Englewood Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Vocal Changes

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Dear Malaysia,

As a Facial Plastic Surgeon and Otolaryngologist specializing in care of the professional voice, I will tell you that rhinoplasty and any nasal surgery can change your voice.  However, this is regarding sounds purely produced through the nose.  For example, the "mmm", "nnn" and "nng" sounds will be clearer.  Sounds that come purely from the mouth like the "ppp"  and "ttt" will be unchanged. 

Singers often fear nasal surgery when they are armed with misinformation. For example, singers often refer to Barbra Streisand's choice not to have surgery because it might alter her voice.  Ms. Streisand's  trademark sound was humming, a sound produced mainly through her nose. In addition, her "nasal twang" was due to hyponasal air flow...that is that too little air was emitted through the nose.  Properly done surgery, by nature, will increase air flow through the nose.  For most singers, this will result in clearer sound and the need to use less diaphragmatic support to emit the same sound volume.  However, as in Ms. Streisand's case, nasal surgery could reduce the "nasal twang: so loved and characteristic of Ms. Streisand's voice. 

Best of luck in your decision.

Dr. Michelle Yagoda, NYC Facial Plastic Surgeon and Otolaryngologist specializing in care of the professional voice

Michelle R. Yagoda, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.