Going under the knife may alter your voice

Last Updated 29 January 2014, 15:45 IST

If you are a voice professional and want to get your nose fixed through plastic surgery, think again.

Patients who have had nose job done may also notice alteration in the sound of their voice, said researchers.

Kamran Khazaeni of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran, who led the research, believes that patients considering rhinoplasty - especially those who use their voice professionally - should be aware of "potential voice alterations".

Changes in voice after rhinoplasty - as the procedure is called - are perceptible to patients as well as to experts, but generally do not cause problems with speech function, according to a study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

The researchers analysed changes in voice quality in 27 patients undergoing rhinoplasty at two hospitals in Iran - where rhinoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures.

The patients were 22 women and five men, average age 24 years.

Twenty-two percent of the patients used their voice professionally.

After rhinoplasty, patients completed a standard questionnaire to rate perceived problems with their voice.

The questionnaire responses showed worsening in some areas of voice quality - particularly in the physical and emotional subscales - reflecting patients' perceptions of their voice and their emotional responses to it.

The trained listeners also perceived changes in voice quality, including an increase in 'hyponasality' following rhinoplasty.

Hyponasal speech reflects the sound of the voice when not enough air is moving through the nasal cavity - for example, in a person with a stuffy nose.

According to Khazaeni, "This demonstrates that the change in the patients' voices is perceptible to trained listeners but does not address whether this change is apparent in everyday life and in routine conversations."

(Published 29 January 2014, 15:44 IST)

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