Vocal Cord Surgery
1. There is typically only a minimal amount of pain after surgery. Pain medication will be provided as needed. You may experience a general body ache due to medication given during anesthesia. Hydration will help this resolve.
2. You may experience some numbness of the tongue after surgery. This is due to the instrumentation used to view the voice box. This will resolve in days to weeks.
3. *Vocal cord surgery done urgently for biopsy may not require further restrictions. Unless directed otherwise, patients should follow post op recommendations as follows;
4. Post op week 1: Absolute voice rest for 7 days. This means NO talking, NO whispering, NO throat clearing, NO whistling. This is very important so as not to add strain to the healing vocal cord area. Pen and paper / texting/ or Text to Voice phone apps(easily downloaded on IOS or Android devices) may be used for communication. Keep well hydrated by consuming half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Avoid any aspirin products – use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain. No heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. If you are being treated for acid reflux, please remember to take your medication faithfully and avoid spicy food.
5. Post op weeks #2 and 3 (day 7-21): Begin gentle voicing and use plenty of airflow. Begin speaking a minute or two, 5 to 6 times throughout an hour, for a total of 5 to 10 minutes of speaking per hour. Use an easy and relaxed manner of voice production. Never strain your voice. If you feel fatigued or vocally strained, stop and rest your voice. You may begin voice exercises if prescribed by doctor or speech pathologist.
6. Post op weeks #3 and 4 (day 22-28): Increased amount of speaking. May begin easy singing exercises.
7. Post op weeks #5 and 6 (day 29-42): Full speech voicing with increased singing
8. Post op week #7: Increased vocal exercises if prescribed and guided singing (professionals)