The decision to proceed with surgery of this nature is made following an examination by an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat physician. The degree of voice rest following this type of surgery is dependent upon the level of vocal cord involvement:
• Mild Level (vocal fold injection): Absolute voice rest day of surgery and next day, with gentle voice use for the next week. A speech pathology consult is often scheduled to assess progress of the voice. More voice rest is recommended as needed on an individual basis.
• Moderate Level (thyroplasty): Absolute voice rest day of surgery and next day, with gentle voice use for the next one to two weeks.
• Involved Level (vocal nodules, polyps, cysts): Absolute voice rest for 3 days. Gentle return to voice over the next two weeks with careful voice use for up to 4 to 6 weeks. Guided singing if ok with physician. A speech pathology consult is often scheduled to assess progress of the voice.
For all types of surgery, additional voice therapy with a speech pathologist may be recommended. This can range from a couple follow-up visits, to one time weekly over the course of several weeks.
Return office visits to see the physician will be determined based on individual need. In general, you should expect to follow-up after surgery at 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months.