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Dos & Donts After Vocal Cord Surgery | Dr Sanjeev Mohanty

When surgery is performed on the vocal cords, there are some very specific after-care that is required to allow for optimal healing. In order to understand the ‘why’ such post-operative care is required, one must first understand how the vocal cords normally work.

The vocal cords are arranged in the shape of a ‘V’. When breathing, the vocal cords are open to allow air to pass through and down into the windpipe. When talking, the vocal cords come together and vibrate. After vocal cord surgery, one is actually cutting into the actual organ that allows one to talk and sometimes use it for professional use too.

As such, the care required after vocal cord surgery requires the elimination of any activity that may lead to damage to the surgery site and allow proper and safe healing. I should mention, that the following instructions are recommendations based on personal experience. Other laryngologists may have different after-care instructions.

Strict Voice Rest in the immediate post operative phase

This means absolutely no talking and whispering. Such activities cause the vocal cords to come together and ‘ bang’ against the surgery site. Patients are instructed to avoid even mouthing words. Strict voice rest typically lasts for a few days after surgery along with guidance of excellent follow-up voice therapy. During this period of time, patients typically will email, text, or write on a clipboard if anything needs to be communicated.

No Coughing or Throat-Clearing Just as with talking, coughing and throat-clearing also causes the vocal cords to come together and should be avoided if at all possible. Narcotic cough-suppressants are often prescribed to help suppress the urge to cough.

Take Reflux Medications Anti reflux medications should be taken both before and after surgery to prevent any possibility of acid damage to the surgery site. Such medications should be taken even if onedoes not have any symptoms of acid reflux. Patients are recommended to start such medications one week before surgery and to continue for as long as 3 to 6 months post operatively. Voice Therapy Vocal function exercises or voice therapy is recommended before surgery so that patients will understand what and how they are supposed to talk once cleared to do so after surgery. It's much easier to answer questions and practice proper talking technique before surgery rather than after surgery when you are on strict voice rest.

The rationale for voice therapy is to prevent continued phono-trauma to a freshly healing surgery site on the vocal cord. Often, if improper talking technique persists after surgery, the surgery site becomes damaged again or heals with abnormal scar tissue leading to possibility of needing surgery again. Voice therapy minimizes the likelihood of needing repeat vocal cord surgery in the future! Restricted Voice Rest Once the period of strict voice rest ends, the patient is slowly allowed to talk under voice therapy guidance. From this point forward over the next 4-6 months, the patient is under restricted voice rest. Restricted voice rest is a fairly broad phrase, but essentially means to: • NEVER abuse the voice (ie, yelling, screaming, loud talking, etc) • Talk only when you must (ie, no social talking) This period of restricted voice rest is important because it allows time for the new vocal cord tissue that has developed to not only heal, but also strengthen. Abusing the voice may tear the freshly healed surgery site which must be avoided at all costs!

#vocal_cord_surgery #laryngologists #phono_trauma #Anti_reflux #acid_reflux

KEYWORDS: Vocal cord surgery, Laryngologists, phono_trauma, Anti Reflux, Acid Reflux

For further queries about the infections, diseases, and treatments of the ear, nose or throat, Dr Mohanty’s Speciality ENT Clinics in Chennai, India can help in a number of ways,


Dr Mohanty’s Speciality ENT Clinics

Manapakkam, Chennai, India.

For Consultation: +91 97910 74677

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