Voice Care after microlaryngoscopic vocal fold surgery.

Voice rest should be the top most tasks to do after any vocal fold surgeries. Proper care of the vocal cords is very important else it may delay the healing and may harm your voice again.

This is just the same as “not to play cricket after having a hand fracture until the wounds get healed completely.”

One needs to understand that healing is a process that will take its normal time and better post-operative care make it sure for better result.

Complete voice rest for one week.

This is the most difficult part because everyone tends to respond or participate in talking and discussions.

Complete voice rest means that one has to avoid talking, singing, humming, coughing, whistling, throat cleaning or grunting for at least a complete week to assure complete voice rest.

How to communicate during this period?

Make use of pen and paper, white board, or text to speech translator / applications. These things may help one for communication during this phase of complete voice rest.

Avoid taking calls in initial postoperative period. Make use of e-mails, whatsapp, text chats to communicate as much you can.

From second week onwards, one can gradually increase the amount of voice use. One may use the following schedule for gradually increasing the voice use:

1st – 2nd day

5-10 minutes of voice use per hour in normal conversational voice. Not to shout or whisper

3rd - 4th day:

voice use can be increased to 10 – 15 minutes of voice use / hour using simple sentences.

5th – 6th day:

15 – 20 minutes of voice use/ hour using short paragraphs

7th – 8th day:

20 – 30 minutes of talking per hour

After that one can add half an hour daily to the total time of voice use.
In case of acid reflux, it is recommended to follow the prescribed diet and medications as told by the doctor. This includes avoiding hot and spicy foods. Take small frequent meals instead of three big meals.

Hydration is the key – drink as much water (8 – 10 glasses) as you can. Try to avoid drinks that include caffeine, alcohol and fruit juices.

Say NO to smoking. It may be a potential risk factor for laryngeal (voice box) cancer. Smoking is an irritant to vocal cords and can make the voice very croaky, hoarse, and weak. It also delays the healing of the cord on which surgery is done.

Taking steam will be good for the voice and throat. Breathe in steam multiple times via mouth. One can take steam from facial steamer or directly through the bowl by entrapping the steam, placing the towel on head and over the bowl.