Perioperative Voice Recovery: An Exercise Physiology Perspective Voice professionals have differing views on the amount of voice rest prescribed before and after laryngeal surgery. Current recommendations are largely based on a long-standing belief that voice rest is good for the vocal mechanism, particularly when pathology is present or following surgical interruption of the vocal fold tissue. There ... Article
Article  |   July 01, 2013
Perioperative Voice Recovery: An Exercise Physiology Perspective
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary J. Sandage
    Department of Communication Disorders, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Disclosure: Mary J. Sandage has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.
    Disclosure: Mary J. Sandage has no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   July 01, 2013
Perioperative Voice Recovery: An Exercise Physiology Perspective
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, July 2013, Vol. 23, 47-52. doi:10.1044/vvd23.2.47
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, July 2013, Vol. 23, 47-52. doi:10.1044/vvd23.2.47

Voice professionals have differing views on the amount of voice rest prescribed before and after laryngeal surgery. Current recommendations are largely based on a long-standing belief that voice rest is good for the vocal mechanism, particularly when pathology is present or following surgical interruption of the vocal fold tissue. There is little evidence to support the benefit of extensive voice rest prior to laryngeal surgery, as is often recommended in the performing arts. In fact, preoperative voice therapy has shown benefit for postoperative voice outcome. From a wound-healing perspective, voice conservation immediately following vocal fold surgery contributes to the best vocal function outcome. There is no supportive evidence for postoperative voice rest that extends for weeks into months, as some performing artists have reported following surgery. From the perspective of skeletal muscle cell physiology and what is currently known about skeletal muscle adaptations that occur with training and detraining, a guideline for optimal voice recovery and return to performance may be clearer. The well-intentioned, long-held belief that extensive voice conservation is good for the voice may actually trigger a skeletal muscle detraining cascade that could lengthen return to optimal voice function, particularly in the vocal performing arts.

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