The transgender community has received strong support over the past year.
Acceptance is higher than ever. So are advanced surgical options. The most recent of which is voice feminization surgery.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Who Are Surgical Candidates?
Voice feminization surgery (VFS) is for transgender patients whose voice resembles that of a male. The surgery is performed after speech therapy is unsuccessful. Many transgender patients undergoing multiple transgender surgeries include VFS into the mix.
How is the Procedure Performed?
VFS (also known as feminization laryngoplasty) decreases the size of the voice box and the length of the vocal cords. A raised, comfortable, and feminine pitch is the end result. In some circumstances, a surgeon elevates the thyroid to match resonance to the higher pitch.
What’s the Initial Consultation Like?
At Palm Beach Plastics, the initial consultation is an extensive one. We believe in taking the time to evaluate our patients’ speech to ensure they get the results they want and deserve. We:
- Evaluate the larynx using video endoscopy
- Evaluate and examine the voice
- Record vocal parameters
- Film the vocal cords
The consultation usually takes an hour or more. At the end of it, we have all the information we need to give our patients the voice they were supposed to be born with.
What’s the Surgery Like?
VFS is an outpatient surgery that’s performed under general anesthesia.
The procedure begins with a tiny incision being made over the Adam’s apple. The incision is parallel to the skin creases to ensure no visible scarring occurs.
After the incision is made, part of the voice box and Adam’s apple are removed. Once visible, part of the vocal cords are removed. In some circumstances, a tiny metal plate is placed over the voice box to hold the surgical repairs together and allow them to heal properly.
What’s the Recovery Like?
Patients return home on the same day as their surgery. Swelling may occur and last for up to three days. Patients are recommended to take things very easy for one week following surgery.
Following the initial recovery, the voice will sound lower than before. It will increase as the vocal chords heal and become less swollen. A new, feminine voice will be heard at around the six-week mark. Speech therapy is recommended to achieve maximum results.
Are There Risks?
As with all surgeries, there are risks associated with VFS. But, as previously mentioned, the risks are minimal. For more information, it’s best to arrange a consultation.
Transgender patients need not worry about their voices sounding masculine. If speech therapy doesn’t get the job done, voice feminization surgery will. When you’re ready, please contact us to arrange a consultation. We’d love to help you get the voice you’ve always wanted—and were supposed to be born with.