Take Care of Yourself After a Vocal Chord Nodule Removal Operation

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Anonymous, Eng, Lynn and 10 others

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Vocal cords are essential for speaking and singing. Vocal cord nodules are tissue masses that grow over your vocal cords. These growths usually appear between the anterior (1/3) and posterior (2/3) of the vocal folds. These are areas where contact is frequent and powerful. Professionals, such as singers, speakers, teachers, and actors, are the common sufferers of vocal cord nodule growths. This is because they use their voices all the time to earn a living. They need to speak or sing every moment of the day to establish their careers. If you have these vocal cord nodules, you may have to undergo a surgical procedure to remove them. You should take care of yourself after a vocal cord nodule removal operation, so that you can return to your normal daily activities. Doing postoperative care, the following all the advice listed below enable you to use your vocal cords again.

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What are Vocal Cord Nodules?

Vocal cord nodules are obstructions in the vocal folds that reduce the quick changes in air pressure that aid in generating the human voice. You may have these nodules already if you exhibit the following symptoms:

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  • Breaks in your voice that occur frequently.
  • Reduction in vocal range.
  • Hoarseness during speech.
  • Pain during speech.

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Children (male and female) and adult females are prone to developing vocal cord nodules. Upon assessment, the vocal cord nodules are swellings that are symmetrical on both areas of the vocal cords. They appear or grow because of abusive and strenuous use of the voice. Coughing and yelling to be heard in a noisy environment are activities that could lead to nodule growth on the vocal cords.

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Vocal cord nodules can definitely impair your singing and speaking abilities. They are not detrimental to one's overall health, but they do affect the patient psychologically and emotionally. Professionals such as broadcasters, lawyers, actors, and singers are terribly affected once they are diagnosed with vocal cord nodules. The nodules hinder them from using their voices the same way they used to. The growth can also lead to otolaryngological, or systemic effects.

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Treatment for Vocal Cord Nodules

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Resting the voice, speech therapy, and vocal training are needed to treat or rehabilitate vocal cord nodules. Surgery is usually performed as a last resort. Removing vocal cord nodules is classified as a minor and safe surgery. Bjork and Icelandic are two famous singers who've had vocal cord nodule surgery, and recovered completely. Singers should evaluate the situation before going under the knife. The surgery can affect their ability to sing and even change their vocal range. Julie Andrews and Ryan Key both lost the majority of their ability to sing after they had vocal cord nodule surgeries. General anesthesia is administered first. For manual removal of the nodules, scalpels and surgical scissors are used. For a much quicker alternative, surgeons can use lasers to remove the nodules.

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How to Take Care of Yourself After a Vocal Cord Nodule Removal Operation

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Proper after-care for vocal cord surgery should be carried out to assure complete recovery. As you know, this surgery involves incisions into the vocal cords that allow the surgeon to get remove the nodules. Optimal healing can be achieved at home after your vocal cord removal operation. Here are the basic things you have to do to take care of yourself:

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  1. 1
    Rest Your Voice.
    This means that you should take a vow of silence. Even whispering is not allowed at this stage. If you do speak after your surgery, your vocal cords will come in contact with one another and this will cause trauma to your healing vocal cords. Make sure that your lips are closed all the time except for when you eat or drink. This will prevent unwanted bacteria from entering the oral cavity. Resting the voice should be done for one to two weeks.{
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  2. 2
    Refrain From Clearing Your Throat Or Coughing.
    This also makes the vocal cords interact with one another. Cough suppressants will help prevent or suppress your coughing.
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  3. 3
    Take Prescribed Reflux Medications.
    This type of medication should be taken before and after the surgery. Reflux medications can prevent the possibility of acid damage to the surgery site. You should take these even if you are not diagnosed with acid reflux.
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  4. 4
    Do Not Eat Spicy or Sweet Foods.
    These types of food irritate the throat and may encourage bacterial infection.
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Importance of Voice Therapy

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Patients should undergo voice therapy before the vocal cord nodule surgery. This will help them understand how they should talk after their complete recovery. Strictly resting the vocal cords is crucial after surgery, so it is ideal to have the therapy before the surgery. This allows the patient to express opinions and ask questions while they are still allowed to speak. It also prevents phono-trauma to the surgical site. This trauma may lead to abnormal scar tissue formation, which can lead to another surgical operation.

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Tips

  • Always communicate with your doctor and therapist through email or SMS since you are on strict voice rest.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables to enhance your healing process.
  • Have paper and pens at a ready during strict voice rest.
  • Drink plenty of clear fluids.

Questions and Answers

What is the post-opp recover time after an operation removing scar tissue from vocal chords?

The minimum recovery time is 2 weeks. However, it differs from person to person, and it might take more time. Stay in touch with your doctor to keep informed about your progress. The doctor will track your progress and let you know how close you are to recovery.

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Can I have tips for recovery after operation of nodule removing in between vocal cords?

You can do the following:

  • Do not attempt to talk, sing, hum and even whisper for a while.
  • Refrain from cold drinks.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Get lots of sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Take necessary medications.

How long does it take to remove a nodule on the vocal chords?

This depends on whether you go for surgery or for therapy. The therapy takes a long time and it entirely depends on how stringently you follow the procedures, and the doctor's advice. The minimum recovery period is 2 weeks both after surgery and on therapy.

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Is removing vocal nodules a safe procedure?

It is safe, especially when the surgery is performed by a good doctor. Most doctors will choose this option when they think the nodules are not getting any better, not responding to therapy and they are already causing serious hindrances for the patient.

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What should I do after resting voice for vocal cord nodules?

You have to follow the time frame advised by your doctor regarding resting your vocal cords. Also, before proceeding with any other activities, such as singing or speaking out loud in public, you have to make sure the doctor gives you the go-ahead. Vocal cord nodules can easily come back, especially if you have not been very careful with your recovery.

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In most cases, doctors will advise a very gradual process to come back to your usual routine. For example, if you used to sing everyday, the doctor may just allow you to do it once a week, and then he will just increase that little by little as the weeks go by.

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How long after the surgery you must not speak, whisper or shout?

I am a single parent and it is imperative to communicate. How long must I stay quiet for full recovery?

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See more questions like this: How long are you off work.? Once surgery has been performed?

I had a small nodule removed on Wednesday?

Dr. said 3 days voice rest..I tried talking a few sentences today. Saturday and throat feels fine but I got like out of breath and exhausted feeling in chest

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See more questions like this: I am having a small polyp removed on Dec 8th. I am an entertainer (impressionist). I do Dean Martin. Will I be able to perform a gig on Feb 14th?

I am having a small vocal cord polyp unilateral?

I am taking corticosteroid tablets for the past 5 days, but there's still no improvement in my voice. I would like to know if surgery is the only solution to solve the polyps problem.

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What do singers spray in their throat for moisture?

What do singers spray in their throat for moisture?

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Why do I sometimes still feel the endoscope in my throat?

Hello there, I had my nodule removed last November, (8 months ago), and sometimes I still feel the endoscope sensation, nothing painful, just annoying, any tips? Thanks.

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I thought it was odd when my Doctor said I could speak 3 days after surgery.

I had a rare cancer in my head and neck 1995 - Synovial Sarcoma. My vocal cords were paralyzed. I had surgery to fix them and things removed every couple years. Do you think it is safe to speak 3 days after the surgery?

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Hi! Are you allowed to smoke during the voice rest before the operation?

I've recently been detected with the nodules. I've been asked to be on a complete voice rest for at least a week. Is it advisable to smoke during the voice rest process? I have tried: Nothing. I think it was caused by: Excessive usage of vocal chords as I'm a sales professional.

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I have a soft voice. Can I make it more heart touching?

I have a soft voice. Can I make it more heart touching? I have tried: Nothing, I have tried before.

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Two days after the operation, I decided to talk. After talking, I felt pain. I am scared of what's going to happen. Does it affect the operation?

Two days after the operation, I decided to talk. After talking, I felt pain. I am scared of what's going to happen. Does it affect the operation?

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I just had vocal nodes removed, and my doctor said not to talk for 48 hours. I've accidentally whispered here and there, but I am trying my hardest. I still don't have my voice and I had surgery Wednesday morning. Should I wait as long as possible to talk?

How long will it take for me to have my voice back? I am really nervous that my voice will never come back

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See more questions like this: I had a cyst removed from my vocal cord and it has been 4 weeks. I was wondering how long it will take before my voice returns to normal?

I had polyp surgery on 4/25. I'm a singer wanting to sing. Is there some way to speed up the recover?

I had polyp surgery on 4/25. I'm a singer in a rock band. I'm not a screamer. I'm 62. I waited 12 days to sing. I certainly didn't "go for it" and it seemed OK. I sang the following night as well. After that, I waited 5 more days and sang for about 75 minutes, with my band mates giving me breaks. That all seemed to be okay, and it seemed to be improving. Now here I am at 26 days and I'm hoarse. I tried to sing last night and the results were mixed. I'm scheduled to sing tomorrow and I don't want to damage my vocal cords. Are their things I can do to speed up my recovery?

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I have undergone a surgery, I am a teacher. Tell me how many days I have to restrict my voice?

I went into surgery 3 days back, I still have pain in my throat, nausea, and vomiting sensation. I am a teacher by profession, when will I be able to talk, I had polyp surgery in my throat

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Categories : Voice Lessons & Tips

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