Septoplasty is a surgical technique for the correction of the nasal septum that may alter the vocal tract. The aim of our study is to assess whether this technique modifies nasalance and acoustic parameters, and their clinical implications in voice perception.
A prospective study was performed between January 2017 and June 2017 including 2 groups of patients: those undergoing septoplasty, and a control group. Subjective nasality questionnaire, objective nasalance with nasometer, and GRBAS (Grade, Roughness, Breathiness, Asthenia, Strain) assessment were statistically analysed. In addition, a recording of patients’ voices was made with a subsequent acoustic analysis. Samples were taken: pre-surgically, 2 weeks after surgery and after 3 months.
After septoplasty, a significant difference was observed in GRBAS, nasality questionnaire and nasometer nasalance, when compared with the control group. As for the acoustic analysis, no differences were observed in most parameters (F0, Jitter, Shimmer, HNR, NHR, Formants F1-F3), except for the antiF3 antiformant, which showed significant changes in all the vowels studied.
Septoplasty can produce changes in the vocal tract, with an increase in initial nasalance but with subsequent normalization. Besides, minor changes were found in the acoustic analysis but with no clinical relevance.