Background: Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in Iran. Surgery on the vocal tract can potentially change the voice characteristics. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no study has described voice changes after rhinoplasty, and the results of this study may help physicians to be aware of potential voice alterations following rhinoplasty.
Methods: The authors selected 27 patients for this study. Patients completed Voice Handicap Index questionnaires, and the authors performed perceptual and acoustic analyses before and 5 months after rhinoplasty.
Results: The Voice Handicap Index score and its physical and emotional subscales showed a statistically significant increase after rhinoplasty, indicating a worsening of voice quality after rhinoplasty. Blind perceptual analysis by six trained listeners revealed a statistically significant increase in hyponasality after rhinoplasty. Acoustic analysis showed that the frequency of the first and second nasal murmurs increased for the phonemes “m” and “n,” while the amplitude of these murmurs decreased significantly after surgery. The same pattern was seen for the phoneme “a” when it was produced between two nasal consonants, as in the word “man.”
Conclusions: Rhinoplasty can change vocal characteristics by narrowing the nasal cavity. Rhinoplasty has some effects on the voice, but these changes are problematic in general for most patients. However, for individuals who rely on their voice for professional reasons, the surgeon should preoperatively discuss these changes with the patient and consider more conservative types of surgery.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.