Nose reshaping surgery transforms your nose on the inside and out and can change the look of your entire face. However, it can also have an impact on the sound of your voice.
Last year a study was published that involved using trained speech analysts to compare how patients’ voices sounded before and after rhinoplasty. The study found that it is possible for the sound of your voice to be affected by surgery, but not in a drastic way.
Nasal Air Flow
When you breathe in and out, air moves through your nasal passages and down into your lungs. The same is true for when you talk. The way that the air moves and the amount of resistance it encounters contribute to the sound of your voice. The level of resistance is related to the total amount of surface area on the inside of your nose. For example, if you have a narrow nose, you are more likely to sound slightly congested than if you have a wider nose. A narrower nose means that air encounters more resistance as it moves through your nasal passages.
Since rhinoplasty involves changing the way the nose is shaped from the inside out, the amount of surface area inside the nose can be altered by the surgery. This is especially true for patients who need serious nasal reconstruction, like a repair to a broken or deviated septum. An increase or decrease in the amount of surface area might create changes in voice quality.
What Does This Mean for You?
Before you panic about your rhinoplasty surgery giving you a totally different voice, relax. The experts used in this study were trained experts who listen for the most subtle of variations between voices, not everyday people. The patients involved in this study were also given a questionnaire to assess their voices and determine if they perceived any noticeable differences. Most of the patients couldn’t tell the difference, nor could their family members or closest friends. Any changes that were noticed were very slight and related to how the voice quality, not to the actual sound. Rhinoplasty surgeons don’t go anywhere near your vocal cords during surgery, so any changes are related to the way that air moves through your nose as you breathe.
So, if rhinoplasty isn’t going to change how your voice sounds in a major way, why is it good to know about this study? As a patient, it’s important for you to be aware of how rhinoplasty could affect you in both big ways and small. Discussing any and all possible side effects of the surgery will be a big part of your rhinoplasty consultation with your surgeon. Even if you don’t experience a change in your voice, being aware of the possibility will help you prepare yourself for how your new nose will affect you.
You can schedule a rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Naderi by calling (703) 481-0002 for his office in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 to reach his office in Maryland. Dr. Naderi is a rhinoplasty specialist and will be able to address any questions or concerns you may have about the surgery from start to finish.