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Old 05-10-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
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Singers with tonsillectomy/UPPP?

I am scheduled for tonsillectory on 5/17. Just wondering if there are any singers out there that can give me some perspective on what to expect vocally. I cancelled an out-of-town gig I had scheduled for July due to some of the posts here citing continued pain/difficulties 10+ weeks out. The type of music I sing is extremely strenuous and it sounded like I may not be ready for that by July. Was that a good decision?

I understand that the procedure does not involve my vocal chords, however, I have been told that the "quality" of my voice may change due to the increased area in the back of the throat once the tonsils are gone. I am also going to have 2/3 of my Uvula (UPPP) removed in an attempt to improve my sleep apnea and my doctor mentioned that this could effect my vibrato.

She said my voice could take on a new, improved resonance or it could take on a more nasal quality (which doesn't sound too appealing to me ). I have also read of some having difficulty pronouncing certain words and having numbness/difficulties with their tongues. Has anyone experienced this and are there speech exercises you can do to correct this?

I plan on working with a vocal coach when I feel ready, but any insight/suggestions anyone could give would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Proverbs3130; 05-10-2006 at 10:44 AM.

 
Old 05-10-2006, 11:52 AM   #2
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Re: Singers with tonsillectomy/UPPP?

Thanks for the reply Harlee!

Your response gave me some hope. Since the gig in July is 2000 miles away, I had to make a decision now because I needed to purchase an airline ticket. I sing with a band and they are still going and, I guess if I'm feeling up to it come July, I could try to get a cheap flight and join them at the last minute. We'll just have to wait and see.

I'm not concerned so much about the pain, I accept it and plan on being medicated to the fullest extent that the law will allow . My main concern medically is the possible bleeding. That just freaks me out . Other than that, I'm pretty sure I can handle whatever comes my way.

Last edited by Proverbs3130; 05-10-2006 at 11:57 AM.

 
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Old 05-11-2006, 05:33 PM   #3
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Re: Singers with tonsillectomy/UPPP?

I'm not a singer (though I sing a mean kareoke), but I am a standup comedian, so I use my voice a lot in weird ways. I found that my voice did change a bit in pitch, but I'm fine to go. It took maybe 3-4 weeks for me to start up again though...

 
Old 05-11-2006, 06:13 PM   #4
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Re: Singers with tonsillectomy/UPPP?

I'm 12 weeks post op and I still can't pronounce certain words properly. Ball, talk, whole, hot, as well as other words, certain combinations of numbers, and certain combinations of words that I can pronounce in different sentences. It's kind of a crap shoot! According to my ENT, "it will resolve on its own when all the healing is done." Try as I may through repeatative use of these words, they still won't come out right. Please let us know how you are after your surgery.
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:33 AM   #5
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Re: Singers with tonsillectomy/UPPP?

Thank you all for your great responses. Keep them coming!

My surgery was 16 hours ago, it's 4:00am now. I've been sleeping in 1-2 hour stretches. I think just getting home and situated is what some would consider "doing too much" but I don't see how that can be avoided, even with the help that I have. I would catagorize my initial pain as "severe" but now that I'm settled in and "taking it easy", it's gone a little more to the "moderate" level. When I don't swallow, I'm fine. Taking the liquid meds is tough (the Tylenol w/ codine syrup burns a bit). The liquid amoxicillin doesn't burn but it hurts to swallow it just the same. I've been forcing myself to drink as much water as possible but I'm finding that I'm not consuming nearly the amount I had hoped. However, I don't think I'm in any danger of becoming dehydrated. I'm looking forward to food but I can't even imagine swallowing it at this stage of the game. If I take a turn for the better during the day today, I might try some Cream of Wheat. Had a popsicle at the hospital and a small cup of mango sorbet at home but that's it so far. I also purchased some "vitamin water" (can't remember the brand name, Glacee I think) and have been trying to get some of that in me. It has electrolytes and lots of vitamins but it isn't sugary. It pretty good stuff. Has anyone else tried it and found it helpful?

Along with my tonsillectomy, I had a UPPP procedure done (2/3 of uvula removed). I think I would be doing much better if I were only dealing with the tonsillectomy, but I guess I'll never know . I say that because the center of the pain for me is the soft palate, I can feel that it is swollen because it drops down on the back of my tongue and I can feel the stitches. That is also where the stinging is when I take my meds. I can see how this could create some speech difficulties later on. I'm going to do some research on speech therapy exercises and see what I find.

Again, thanks for your encouraging responses. I'm still open to any more info you good people have to offer.

 
Old 05-18-2006, 05:31 PM   #6
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Re: Singers with tonsillectomy/UPPP?

Hi Proverbs3130,
I'm so glad you're doing so well. It sounds like you're doing as much as you can. I found that I drank more when I used a straw. And crushed ice or ice chips. The liquid pain med did the same thing to me, as did the liquid Tylenol. Please keep us posted. God's speed for a full and uneventful recovery.
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