Whether your singing voice is good or bad depends mainly on genetic factors. But can you get surgery to get a better singing voice?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Surgery can change your voice, but it can’t make you sing better. You need to have proper training with a professional vocal coach to improve your voice.
In this post, you can find more information about what surgery can do with your voice. Let’s explore together!
Can You Get Surgery To Improve Your Singing Voice?
You can get surgery on your vocal cords to change the pitch of your voice. But this surgery will have nothing to do with your voice getting better.
Genetics make up a significant part of your vocal quality. If you weren’t born with a good voice, proper training could help you improve it. Even if you have a natural talent for singing, training is still necessary to develop your voice.
If a medical condition makes it difficult for you to sing, vocal surgery can help. If you don’t like the pitch of your voice, surgery can raise or lower it.
However, after surgery, if you don’t practice properly, your voice will have no improvement.
Besides, getting surgery on your vocal cords may be risky. Your voice may not change as you want it to but get worse. In some cases, you may even get vocal cord paralysis and lose your voice permanently.
Therefore, if you don’t have a special reason for this surgery, you’d better not get it. Here are some situations where you need to have surgery on the vocal cords.
- Smoker’s polyps
- Vocal cord tumors
- Hoarseness lasts more than two weeks
- Vocal fold paralysis
- Transgender people who want to change their voice
In all situations, you will have a medical examination before the doctor indicates the surgery.
What Can Surgery Do With Your Voice?
Below are some surgical procedures that can alter your voice pitch. You will have a higher or lower voice after these surgeries.
#1. Feminization laryngoplasty
This vocal surgery is usually for male-to-female transgender people. The surgeon will reduce the size of the patient’s voice box and make their vocal cords shorter.
This procedure increases the voice pitch and makes a male sound more feminine. You can watch this video to see the change in the voice of a transgender person before and after vocal surgery.
#2. Laser tuning
With laser tuning, patients will have their vocal cord tightened by a laser. This procedure is also applicable for shrinking smokers’ polyps. The tightened vocal cords will raise the pitch some semi-tones.
#3. Thyrohyoid lift
This surgery will cut the top part of the thyroid cartilage and lift the larynx. The voice of the patient will thereby be higher. Sometimes the surgeon includes thyrohyoid lift in vocal feminization surgery.
Patients will have their vocal cords surgery implemented with a microscope. The purpose of this surgery is to remove polyps or tumors in the vocal cords.
The vocal cords will also be a bit tighter after the procedure. So, the voice of patients will change.
#5. Cricothyroid approximation
The cricothyroid approximation is an alternative to Thyrohyoid lift.
Instead of shortening the thyroid cartilages, the surgeon will keep them closer to each other. In this way, the cartilage can act as the cricothyroid muscle and make the voice higher.
#6. Vocal reduction surgery
This procedure will resize Adam’s apple. It often goes with the Cricothyroid approximation to feminize the voice of transgender people. You may hear about this surgery with the name of “Tracheal Shave”.
#7. Web Gluteoplasty
In Web Glottoplasty, the patient will have a thyrohyoid lift first. Then, the surgeon will suture the anterior parts of the vocal cords together. This sewing technique is quite complicated, but it will make the voice pitch higher.
Pitch-lowering surgery is for those who want a lower voice. The surgeon will cut a part of the cartilage to widen and thicken the vocal cords. In this way, the voice pitch will get lower.
Risks Of Vocal Cord Surgery And Post-Operative Recovering Instructions
As we mentioned above, you may be at risk with vocal cord surgery. You should be aware of the following possible risks and post-operative recovery instructions.
Risks of vocal cord surgery
Because you will have your vocal cord surgery under anesthesia, you may run some risks.
- Cardiac arrest, hypotension, or anesthetic reactions may happen during anesthesia. But the risk of these complications is small, and the medical staff will know how to handle them.
- Infection may occur, but it is rare because the operating room is always sterile.
- Bleeding is only possible if the tumor of mass has many blood vessels.
- You may feel numbness in the tongue due to the pressure from the surgery. But this symptom often disappears after some weeks.
- You may get unpredicted vocal cord injuries.
- Your voice may not change the way you want
Though the risk ratio is low, you should still be mentally prepared. Remember to contact medical staff immediately in case of emergency to get help.
After the surgery, you should follow the recovering recommendations below.
- Let the vocal cords rest completely in 3-5 days after the surgery. You shouldn’t talk, sing or do anything that vibrates the vocal cords. Also, don’t cough or clear your throat.
- You don’t need to go on a diet after vocal cord surgery. But it’s better to avoid foods and drinks containing caffeine. Besides, you should take something easy to digest to prevent acid reflux or heartburn.
- Keep your larynx hydrated by drinking enough water every day. Warm water is the best choice, or you can drink some herbal teas to soothe the throat.
- Hydrate your throat and nose by inhaling some hot water steam. This method is effective in relieving your dry throat.
- Stay away from alcoholic drinks and cigarettes at least 5 days after the surgery. Also, don’t let anyone who smokes stay near you. Inhaling secondhand smoke will be bad for your vocal cords.
What You Can Do To Have A Better Singing Voice
Getting surgery can only alter the pitch of your voice, and you have many things to do to make it better. You can consult the following ways to improve your singing voice.
#1. Identify your vocal range
To sing better, you need to know your vocal range well first. After that, based on your vocal range, you can find suitable strategies to develop your voice.
Besides, you can pick the right songs to sing when you understand your vocal range. If you don’t know how to identify your current vocal range, you can watch this video. The singing teacher will help you to find it in a few minutes.
#2. Hire a skilled vocal coach
The best and fastest way to improve your singing voice is by practicing with a professional vocal coach. They will teach you the proper singing techniques and how to expand your strengths.
Besides, they will give you useful lessons and exercises to practice properly. It will cost you a great deal to hire a skilled vocal coach, but you will quickly make progress.
#3. Register for an online singing course
A more budget-friendly option than hiring a vocal coach is registering for an online singing course.
You can also access professional vocal lessons in the course. The teacher can still guide and check your singing techniques via the webcam.
However, learning online means that you need to practice more to get improvement. This method will take you longer than practicing with a coach. Besides, your lessons may get interrupted if you lose the internet connection.
#4. Sing with correct posture
If you want to learn to sing by yourself, you should know the singing posture first. You will be able to sing at your best when you maintain a correct posture.
The best posture for singing is standing up with your back straight, and your shoulders relaxed. Free all the muscles of your face, neck, and tongue from tension.
You should slightly raise your head and keep your chin parallel to the floor while singing. Try to keep your head in this position because moving it when singing can damage your vocal cords.
#5. Learn to breathe correctly
Breathing is an essential technique in singing. You should breathe from the diaphragm instead of your chest.
- Taking a breath from the diaphragm will provide supports for your singing voice. To check if you are breathing from your diaphragm, follow the steps below.
- Put one hand right under your rib cage and the other hand on your chest.
- Breath in through your nose and transfer the air to your stomach. You will feel the hand on your stomach move upward as your stomach expands. The hand put on the chest should be in the initial position.
- Breath out by contracting the muscles of your abdomen, and let the air out through your mouth. Again, your chest should not make any movement in this step.
#6. Do vocal warm-up
Warm-up before singing is necessary if you want to sing better. By this step, you will transfer more blood to your vocal cords and make them work better. Some popular vocal warm-up exercises are humming or lip trill.
#7. Choose the best music genre for yourself
You will show your singing ability when you sing the right music genre. As a beginner, you should try some different genres to find which one suits you best.
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with new things because it will help you explore your vocals.
In conclusion, getting surgery won’t give you a better singing voice. Instead of looking for a surgical solution, you should take proper vocal lessons to improve your singing voice.
We hope the information we have provided can help enhance your vocal ability.
Thank you for following this post!