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Voice Lifts (Surgery To Make One's Voice More Youthful)


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
Surgery 'makes you sound young'

Doctors in the United States are offering patients voice lifts to help them sound younger.

The surgery involves plumping up the vocal cords to turn old shaky voices into strong clear ones.

The technique has previously only been used on people who have lost their voices through injury or disease.

But doctors say it is becoming popular with patients who have already had plastic surgery and want to sound as well as look younger than they are.

"There are people who pay ,000 for a face lift and as soon as they open their mouth, they sound like they're 75," said Dr Robert Thayer Sataloff of the Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia.

"The wobbles, the tremors, they're what we recognise as things that make a voice sound old."

Vocal cords

Surgeons can make the voice sound younger by bringing the vocal cords closer together.

This is done by injecting collagen or similar substances to plump the vocal cords up.

It can benefit people like politicians and teachers who need to have a strong voice that carries
Dr Leroy Young
"The surgery brings the vocal folds closer together either by injecting a material through the mouth fat or a bone like substance or collagen or by making a little incision in the neck and implanting a little piece of gortex to bring all of the vocal fold tissues closer together," said Dr Thayer Sataloff.

"Either one of those techniques will take a voice that is soft and breathy and give it strength and solidity that makes it sound more believable and younger."

Doctors said the technique could be particularly helpful for people who use their voice in their careers.

"It can benefit people who may be getting toward the end of a singing career," said Dr Leroy Young of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

"It can benefit people like politicians and teachers who need to have a strong voice that carries," he said.

"I'd say caveat emptor for the professional singer but if you're a teacher and you don't want to sound like Marlene Dietrich, it's something to consider."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/04/20 09:33:14 GMT
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This ABC News story from the same time as the OP provides a case study and some cautions about voice lift surgery.
The Latest in Plastic Surgery: the 'Voice-Lift'

April 22, 2004 -- The latest luxury for aging baby boomers looking for the fountain of youth is the so-called "voice-lift," designed to make patients' voices sound more youthful.

In the past, doctors have mostly performed vocal chord surgery on people with voice-robbing diseases or injury. Now cosmetic surgery for the voice — the voice lift — is becoming more widely known among an aging population, dismayed to notice hoarseness that makes them sound older creeping into their voices.

Professionals who use their voices — including performers, lawyers and telephone operators — are seeking out the procedure, hoping to shave years off the sound of their voice.

But doctors are warning against doing cosmetic surgery on normal, but aging, vocal cords.

There are two general kinds of voice lifts: In some cases, implants inserted through an incision in the neck bring the vocal cords closer together. Doctors also use injections of fat, collagen or other substances to plump up the cords and make them more limber, so that the voice sounds younger.

There are risks to the procedures, experts say.

"It is not that uncommon in an attempt to actually bring the vocal folds together that they become over-closed," said Dr. Steven Zeitels, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and a laryngologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. "You can make the voice worse, and we've all seen cases in which that can occur."

A Raspy, Hoarse Voice

By the time Bob Anzidei reached 66, he found himself struggling to speak. Now 75, the retired construction superintendent underwent voice lift surgery several years ago.

"When I spoke, many times the person I was speaking to would not hear me as clear as they should," Anzidei said. "I had to repeat myself because it was very raspy and hoarse."

To produce sound, the vocal cords must meet each other at a rate of between 120 and 220 times a minute, and that high level of usage takes its toll. Unlike skin, the surface of vocal cords don't sag as we age — they get stiffer. "Over time, from the use of the voice, they actually decrease in pliability," Zeitels said. "They become stiffer, which makes it more difficult for them to vibrate."

Singing, smoking and just day-to-day speaking can make vocal cords less limber and speech less recognizable.

Vocal Changes a Red Flag

Even so, a changing voice shouldn't be ignored or written off as just "old age." Vocal changes can be the first signs of polyps, a paralyzed voice chord, or even cancerous tissue in the voice box. Physicians can use everything from traditional surgery to lasers to treat these kinds of disorders.

In Anzidei's case, one of his vocal cords was paralyzed, and the second one was becoming partially paralyzed. Injections of fat have allowed him to speak normally, so that his voice can be heard.

Dr. Robert Thayer Sataloff, chairman of the otolaryngology department at Philadelphia's Graduate Hospital, performed the surgery.

"I'm happy," Sataloff told Anzidei. "You don't sound like a 75-year-old man with a completely paralyzed vocal cord at all."

Though he does not know if he sounds any younger, Anzidei does say that he sounds clearer.

"Friends and family who knew that I was having this problem heard me speak for the first time. They spoke with me after the surgery and were very impressed," Anzidei said. "They said, 'Wow, you sound great! '"

There may be some safer ways to treat aging voices on the horizon. Researchers are looking at new chemicals and new materials which can be injected safely into aging vocal chords.
SOURCE: https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/DrJohnson/story?id=127887&page=1
This 2012 Guardian article provides a summary of the proliferation of voice lifts and voice lift techniques.
Voice lifts: something to shout about

he term "voice lift" was coined by Dr Robert Sataloff in 2004 to describe the techniques used to repair a damaged or ageing voice. Sataloff, professor and chairman of the ear, nose and throat department at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia and one of the leading specialists in voice surgery, gives an exaggerated sigh when I ask if he regrets inventing the phrase. "I haven't thought of a better term," he says, "but I have certainly spent more time than I would like explaining that it's not just like dropping in and having an operation like a facelift. It's complex and requires a multi-disciplinary approach."

Last week a series of newspaper articles highlighted the growing interest in "voice lift" treatments in the UK, and reported how a course that ran in Manchester was oversubscribed by laryngologists wanting to learn more about how to repair damaged – and ageing – voices, including the use of fat or fillers usually employed in cosmetic procedures.

"In the past, it was difficult to administer without major operations but now there is better technology and substances that are compatible with the body," says Yakubu Karagama, an ENT consultant who leads the voice clinic at Manchester Royal Infirmary ...

John Rubin, consultant surgeon at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear hospital in north London, is another of Britain's few specialists using the techniques that make up a "voice lift", though he too stresses that "we're not really talking about cosmetic surgery". ...

Rubin explains that surgery is just one part of a group of treatments with an aim to bring the vocal cords, or folds, together more efficiently (it is the vibration of the vocal folds that produces the voice): "We often use this treatment on people who have vocal cord paralysis or weakness. There are lots of reasons for that. ... And in older people? "During the ageing process, the vocal folds become thinner and they don't come together, causing the voice to sound weak, shaky or breathy. An older voice is very easy to recognise. The first thing we do is send the patient to our speech therapist and we also get them involved in gentle exercise. Often that is enough to make the voice sound younger and more fit. If that doesn't work satisfactorily, then we may suggest a little augmentation."

This usually involves taking fat from the stomach and injecting it into the vocal folds, although other substances such as collagen can be used. "It effectively makes them thicker, and allows them to have better contact," says Rubin. ...

Surgery, says Sataloff, is the last option – although filler injections are a temporary measure, he also offers tiny implants made from silicon or Gore-Tex. "That's why 'voice lift' confuses people. It's actually a complex package of activities that include establishing an accurate medical diagnosis, and exercises with a team of voice specialists to improve or eliminate some of the changes." This, he says, can take "decades off the sound of the voice. More than 80% of the time, people are satisfied without having to resort to surgery."
SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/sep/23/voice-lift-vocal-cord-treatment
“…Joe Pasquale’s net worth is $3.5 Million…”

l’d live with sounding like Donald Duck for that bank balance.

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