lost my voice after thyroid surgery

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nicolas67
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/18/2009 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I had 2 surgeries 4 months ago for my thyroid cancer, was treated with one time radiation therapy. Everything looks good now, I'm cancer free.

Unfortunately, one of my vocal chords was damaged and I'm still suffering when I talk. I was told by laryngologist last week that the only option for me is an implant in the neck in order to restore my voice.
I also spoke with other people and got the impression that voice can come back even after a year. Speech therapy might help.
Does anyone have any stories with positive results? I'm very anxious to get my voice back but my wife insists on the second/third opinion and any therapy that will help to avoid another surgery.

Thank you, any input is highly appreciated.

Judy2
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Date Joined Mar 2003
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   Posted 12/18/2009 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Nicolas, I'm so sorry that you're dealing with this complication! I know it is one of the possible risks of thyroid surgery, but I personally haven't encountered anyone else who has had cord damage.

I hope that if we have a member who has dealt with this they will offer you their wisdom.

marymagdalena
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Date Joined Dec 2009
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   Posted 12/20/2009 12:07 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello , I am a speech Pathologist from germany and live in the US now.

 I would definetly try a speech-voice therapy!!!!

There are multible choices to help you to get back to a better voice.

It depends on were exactly the damage has happend; on the voice cord itself or is a nerve damaged etc.

There are different methods to fix this, but will definetly take a little time.

 I would not take another surgery before trying at least one therapist!!!!

If you have more questions about it, pls let me know.

Good luck and healing wishes

Marymagdalena


nicolas67
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/20/2009 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Thank you for your posting. I'm wondering if you can recommend some home remedies for my voice chords. I'm thinking something like hot teas, inhalation or gargling, anything that might help... I'm trying to find good speech therapist in NYC, someone who deals with my problems, and it's not easy. So, I would try any recommendations for now while I'm looking for a therapist.

thank you again

marymagdalena
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/20/2009 10:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh your welcome! It is important to keep the throat moisture. be careful with what you are using for gargeling and even inhalation. use only herbs or sea salt, no agressive chemicals like in the common drugs which are available. Isla moos drops are very good for the voice, i don't know how they name them here in the US, but salt drops should do the same. tea is good but does not have to be hot..honey is always a good choice! Do you know exactly which part is damaged? Ask your Doc, you need to have more info for the therapist to find the right method. If it's the recurrens nerve that got damaged by surgery it needs a complete different method than working with the cord only.

Sorry that you a living so far away, otherwise i could show you some things.
let me know what you can find out.

blessings

nicolas67
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/20/2009 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you for the info!
here is what i know so far: one of my chords is moving normally (it was not damaged after the first surgery and I had my voice). Second chord is moving a bit and I saw it on the monitor during the test, but according to my doctors it's not moving the way it should and the air gap between the chords is too large.
So, I questioned another therapist over the phone who unfortunately does not see patients any more and she said that if chord moves even a bit it's a good sign and means that nerve is not cut. As long the nerve is not cut therapy will help to restore the voice. My Dr. who operated me 4 months ago said that he most likely touched the chord during the surgery but I should get the voice back in a few months. I makes me think that he knows he did not cut the nerve, otherwise he would said that he had to sacrifice the nerve in order to remove cancerous tissues.
Combining all these facts I believe I have a chance to avoid surgery. Also, today I did a funny test - I pressed both sides of the throat like trying to bring them together and my voice got much stronger. Look like I was able to close air gap between chords. I do not know if it means something but it was an interesting discovery for me.

I just read about Isla Moos and will try to find this herb on web, THANK YOU!

marymagdalena
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/20/2009 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   
that sounds good! what you figured out by "accident" is exactly what a therapist will do with you.

Don't do it like you did.try this instead: press both hands together for some seconds and tone "m" while you pressure your hands.

also try "aha", "oho" etc. you can experience with that and see what works best.

What it does is the following: your voicecord need to come closer to the other one so that it compares the damaged one. It will close the space a lil more. the more you use pressure methods the stronger it get's.

It will take a lil time but really works!

But pls don't over do it..every day a lil excersise,ok?

They are more possibilities including the whole body..i will look for my book, hopefuly brought it over here :)

Hope this will help in the meanwhile

talk to you soon.

nicolas67
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/20/2009 11:19 PM (GMT -6)   
THANK YOU!!! You give me a hope! I will try your advice and see what happens...If you worked in US can you recommend any doctors, clinics, books?
Thank you again!

marymagdalena
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/20/2009 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
see, that's my problem here in the US..my certification is not accepted here..that's why I can't work here in my profession.
I would have go back to college for 2 years...and that is not possible right now.
But I am glad that I can be supportive :)

nicolas67
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/20/2009 11:38 PM (GMT -6)   
it's really sad that you cannot work here...but at least you can be very helpful to the people like me and be really supportive, it's great!
can you please clarify something? you are saying "your voicecord need to come closer to the other one so that it compares the damaged one. It will close the space a lil more. the more you use pressure methods the stronger it get's." My question is: If I do this exersise and bring 2 chords together with my hands and even generate strong sound, how can chords work and stay together without my help?

marymagdalena
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/20/2009 11:53 PM (GMT -6)   

they are muscles and you gonna train them like muscles. The healthy one will become stronger and get over the middle to close the space between both. the damaged one will maybe get affected as well..depends on how strong it is affected from the surgery.

When ever you use your voice the sound will become stronger.

BTW, I remember that there are Therapists working online through webcam!

try to find the website for you.


nicolas67
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/20/2009 11:56 PM (GMT -6)   
THANK YOU!!!

marymagdalena
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/21/2009 12:59 AM (GMT -6)   
 
 
try to get more info from them and let me know please if it works.
 
blessings and good luck!

marymagdalena
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/21/2009 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   

BTW, isn't it funny that we both are new member on here?

nothing happens by coincidence!!!!

Keep your faith and don't be scared

All will work fine, you'll see.

Blessings


Ruloff
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/27/2010 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I know this thread is 3 month old, but I am interested in finding out any information I can about those who have lost their voice after thyroid surgery.

I had a hemi-thyroidectomy on March 11, 2010 to remove a multi-goiter which was benign. But I don't have my voice back yet; the surgeon was a bit surprised when I saw him for the post-op. He said my laryngeal nerve took a curious path but that he was sure it wasn't damaged during the procedure. I will see him again in 6 weeks.

Am I being too overly concerned here given the short time since my surgery?

Thanks.

MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6923
   Posted 3/28/2010 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea. I would be calling for second opinion.
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bkanb
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Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/2/2010 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my thyroid removed five years ago and I lost my voice completely for almost six months and struggled to whisper-talk for another 3-4. One of my vocal cords was permanently damaged and as a result I can not yell or scream and can not speak in a higher octave. I would recommend for anyone with this same problem to see a speech therapist, as I did, because it really helped retrain the one working vocal cord that I did have. Don't give up hope that your voice will come back. I saw a surgeon who suggested a second surgery, but my speech therapist convinced me to wait it out. And I did. Hope that helps!

Rent a wreck
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 6/1/2010 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
when I had my thyroid removed it took about 3 weeks to speak above a whisper and another 6-8 months before I spoke without hoarseness and getting tired from speaking. still not able to carry a tune 1 1/2 years later. Good thing I don't have to make living doing that. hang in there it will get better and speech therapy is a great help.

Skooder
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/17/2012 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
This my first time posting on this site. I too had surgery for Thyroid Cancer and lost my singing voice. Prior to surgery I was a singer. I'm not sure if it was due to the difficult intubation or the actual surgery. When the ENT surgeon looked at my vocal cords with the endoscope they looked and acted fine, however, after 7 years, and although I am able to speak, I'm not able to sing. confused    It feels like a huge part of my life was taken from me. So far, I have no diagnosis and no treatment. From what I've read, it is likely that one or more of my vocal nerves have been paralyzed. If anyone has had experience with this or knows of any treatment I might persue, please reply. Thanks! - Skooder

Silence
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 7/16/2012 2:49 PM (GMT -6)   
What a fantastic thread!
I too have been a musician for years and lost my voice slowly over a yr. Fiest I was slurring and after n MRI found nothing out of order I began research (my doctor did not have a clue), found people w my symptoms also had thyroid problems and GERAD. voila!
Now I whisper and speak little...changed my diet completely, no eating before sleeping, am on thyroid Rex, and have found tremendous hope and encouragement her today!!

madgelena, You are an angel and I hope eventually will get your 2 extra years and practice in the USA. I was born in Bohemia but came here w my mom twice by the time I wAs 9 yrs old.
been in Hawaii 32 years now...come visit! all of you, come visit(-:
thank you soooo much!Silence is golden...sometimes.

Delta55
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/30/2012 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a thyroidectomy in April performed by general surgeon. Could not speak above a whisper and had severe shortness of breath immediately. Lungs clear on scan. Referred to ENT and results showed a paralyzed nerve. ENT injected a collagen soln. in hopes of rejuvenating the nerve. Just started speech therapy. Speech is alittle better but still short of breath. I also have GERD and fibromyalgia. Taking 125mmc of Synthroid, and endocrinologist says level is therapeutic. But very depressed, cry a lot, aggitated, exhausted, and sweating profusely. I'm just a mess! Any advice?

Post Edited (Delta55) : 7/31/2012 10:21:20 PM (GMT-6)


trail girl
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Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/20/2013 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I know no one's posted to this thread for a few months, but I'm glad to read through it. I had a lobectomy for a benign adenoma 2 1/2 weeks ago and I have less than an octave's range. I can really feel the strain if I try to do vocal warm-ups. I don't want to over-do it, but I am curious at what point I should try to engage a voice therapist, balancing healing/strengthening vs strain.

My surgeon had said he had a .12% rate of vocal chord injury, but certainly didn't tell me to expect this type of voice weakness. I guess I wasn't asking the "right question" before the surgery. I, too, am frustrated, as not being able to project my voice affects my work, too. And I love to sing and miss being able to use that as part of my overall healing right now.

Judy2
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9498
   Posted 1/20/2013 4:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell, trail girl. At 2 1/2 weeks after surgery, your throat is still healing and there is still swelling present. I takes a minimum of 6 weeks for any part of your body to heal minimally from surgery, and up to 6 months for complete healing.

I would suggest resting your voice as much as possible for at least that first six weeks. Talking a normal amount probably won't hurt you, but vocal exercises could lead to irritation and potential vocal cord nodules.

Perhaps you could listen to music instead? Or practice breathing exercises, which will help with control later but not irritate the cords.
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trail girl
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Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/20/2013 4:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the quick response. I never even thought about the potential of creating nodules. To be clear, I haven't tried to push it, rather, have just checked to see what my range is (half an octave). I didn't expect, pre-surgery, not to be able to project my voice; this is impacting my ability to accept some planned part-time work.

So, now, do I just keep my voice at its monotone for another month, and then make a determination of next steps?

thanks for any and all input.

Tony Danser
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/15/2013 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

I had a total thyroidectomy that was cancerous early in Dec 2012. My speaking voice quality has been ok but have noticed a significant lack of strength in my singing voice so am taking advice from others and resting as much as possible for singing which I love. I'm only 11 weeks after surgery and hoping it will improve in time. I believe that exercises to strengthen are beneficial but all at the right time.

Thanks all for your comments it really helps to understand and talk through the issues others are experiencing.
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