Singing after Feminization laryngoplasty

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Hello Doctor Thomas,

I was curious to know if after having a surgery like feminization laryngoplasty, if singing would still be possible. More importantly would my singing voice be in a female pitch? Singing has always been a very big part of my male life and I would like to bring my gift with me in my new life. My style of singing is very soulful/R&B/Pop (Beyonce, Joss Stone, Christina). I've attempted in the past to train my voice to so that I may sing more feminine, but to no avail. My voice just sounded strained and "Minne mouse" like. My regular talking voice sounds very feminine, but can become rather raspy very quickly even just talking at a normal indoors volume. At times my talking voice can become little bassy as I unintentional start to relax the muscles. Also sneezing and throat and coughing can become a rather embrasssing activity if I'm not careful. So I'm rather interested in this surgery. Thank you for your time and can't wait for your reply.


James P Thomas MD's picture
Submitted by James P Thomas MD on Sat, 2012-06-16 04:11

Dear Monica,

I have generally discouraged professional singers from considering feminization laryngoplasty. There's a fairly high risk that at some point or on some notes in your singing range, there could be asymmetric vibrations that cause a roughness in your voice. However, I have performed the surgery on several singers, willing to take on this additional risk for their own personal reasons and they have returned to singing and performance. So, the answer is that it is possible to perform the surgery, but a significant risk.

Some of the vocal quality that you are talking about actually represents resonance. A good voice teacher could potentially help you narrow your throat when singing which would act to amplify the overtones of your higher notes. This would move you away from the strained, Minnie mouse quality that you mention.