Summary: A new study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery suggest that rhinoplasty may in some cases subtly change the voice. But most cosmetic surgeons will tell you that this in and of itself should not be enough to dissuade you from considering the procedure.
It’s All in the Echo
Maybe it’s not your imagination, after all. Your voice might be subtly different after a rhinoplasty procedure. The results of a new study were published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and in the article Dr. Kamran Khazaeni working with Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran, found that a slight change in the voice—especially in the more intimate ranges of speaking, for example when you’re expressing strong emotions—could be detected by the speaker and by trained vocal analysts.
These findings, maybe, shouldn’t be altogether surprising, as the nasal passages are connected to your mouth and throat, where the larynx (that little vibrating tube responsible for the sound of your voice) is located. It’s all connected, and sometimes your nose works as a kind of echo chamber. You may have noticed this the last time you had a cold. By change the nose, you change the echo chamber. It’s kind of like taking an orchestra and watching it perform in a concert hall compared to a high school school gym. The orchestra plays the same notes, but because the echo chamber is different, the final sound is different.
Not Enough to Change Your Mind
In other words, there might be a change in voice, but it’s subtle. According to the study, this might happen because of a narrowing of the nasal passageways, a common enough aim during rhinoplasty. This might make some patients a little hesitant about rhinoplasty, if only because it’s pretty difficult to predict if and how the voice would be altered.
But it’s important to remember that, for the most part, there is no noticeable change. This is only a subtle finding. That means that the day-to-day, routine operation of the voice will be unchanged. Plastic surgeons Dr. Cyrus Loghamanee and Dr. Dean Cerio, operating out of East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery in New Jersey don’t think these finding should necessarily dissuade anyone from considering rhinoplasty. According to Dr. Loghmanee or Dr. Cerio, who perform rhinoplasty in Hoboken, most patients seek out rhinoplasty for “a nose that fits the rest of their face.” In other words, it’s a good bet that the candidate is unhappy with his or her nose. Loghmanee and Cerio continue, “Nose surgery involve(s) reshaping of the nose … to improve the symmetry of facial features or modify the nasal passages to improve nasal function.”
In other words, when rhinoplasty is the answer, a subtle shift in voice is a small price to pay for what are otherwise overall favorable results.