Voice is energy and when voice-generating source vibrates, it gains energy and creates voice. The human voice is formed by the coordinated work of the lungs, the larynx and mouth-nose area, located in the upper part of the trachea. In the respiration phase, the air blown from the lungs passes into the trachea and vibrates the vocal cords in the larynx to create the raw voice (Phonation). The vocal cords vibrate 100-150 times per second in men, 200-250 times per second in women, and 400 times per second in babies. The raw voice that occurs in the larynx is shaped in the throat, nasal and mouth cavities and creates a personalized voice tone (Resonance). Voice tone is formed by lip, teeth, tongue, palate, nasal cavity, larynx and nose, known as articulator organs, and converted into speech voices. (Articulation)
3 properties of voice are: volume, loudness and tone. The voice characteristic that causes the voice to be characterized as thin or deep is the volume of the voice (pitch). If frequency of voice waves is high, voice is thin, if it is low, the voice is deep. Volume of the voice depends on 3 different characteristics of the vocal cords:
Length of Vocal Cords: As length of the vocal cords gets shorter, amount and frequency of vibration increases. Since frequency increases, voice becomes thinner.
Deepness of Vocal Cords: As the vocal cords get thinner, amount and frequency of vibration increase and voice becomes thinner.
Tension of Vocal Cords: As the vocal cords are stretched, amount and frequency of vibration increase and voice becomes thinner.
The fundamental frequency of the voice is expected to be below 120 Hz in healthy men and above 150 Hz in healthy women.
Many people want to change their tone of voice that is not suitable for their gender, status or physical characteristics with aesthetic interventions. Especially individuals who have changed gender, women who have hormonal problems or have received a hormone therapy, and women whose voice has become deeper due to smoking from an early age want to make their voices thinner in order to overcome their social or psychological problems. In addition to this, people who want to be announcers, presenters and voice actors, politicians, executive candidates and lecturers frequently request voice aesthetics.
Thanks to the developments in the field of medicine, volume of human voice can be changed by some surgical interventions. During these operations, the desired changes can be made in the vocal cords and the voice is reconstructed via an intervention through the mouth or small incisions on the neck.
In order to make the human voice thinner, it is necessary to shorten, make thinner or increase tension of the vocal cords.
Voice feminization application is a surgical intervention in which changes and adjustments are made in the vocal cords, in other words, in the vocal folds, in order to increase the voice frequency and make the voice thinner. Various surgical techniques can be applied:
Thyroplasty Type 4 (Isshiki Thyroplasty Type IV – Tension): It is one of the commonly used techniques. In this technique, which is also called as cricothyroid approximation; with a small incision made in the anterior lower part of the neck, two large cartilages (thyroid cartilage) in the larynx are approximated and extended, and the vocal fold edges are stretched to increase the volume / pitch. In this way, the voice is made thinner. It is mostly applied under local anesthesia and sufficient thinning is made by ensuring that the patient can hear structuring of the voice during the operation.
Wendler Thyroplasty (Wendler Glottoplasty): It is a method in which the vocal cords are intervened under general anesthesia. By sewing a third of the vocal cords together, the vocal cords are shortened and the voice is made thinner. It is the most preferred surgical intervention technique due to the successful results obtained.
Laser Thinning (Laser-assisted voice adjustment - LAVA): It is a method in which laser intervention is performed on the vocal cords under general anesthesia. The vibrating part of the vocal cords is shortened with the help of laser and the voice is made thinner.
Voice feminization surgery is mostly painless and the patient is discharged on the same day. A week of voice rest is generally recommended after the operation. It takes 3-5 months for the voice to take its final form. During this period, support of voice therapy helps to reach the result faster.
Vocal cord surgeries are not ordinary surgical interventions. For this reason, it should be performed by a specialist, especially experienced in voice diseases and surgery.
If you also have problems with your deep voice and want your voice to become thinner, you can reach us via our contact information.
Dr Elad Azizli Voicest Clinic in Istanbul, Turkey is a centre of excellence where voice feminization surgery is successfully performed nearly on 1000 patients from all over the world.