Gender reassignment surgery, facial feminization surgery, and voice feminization surgery are often considered the trinity of transitioning. Often, facial feminization comes first, followed by voice feminization. A higher, more feminine voice is much like the frosting on the cake, and those who have FFS are considering it more often than ever before.
Feminization is More than Just Outward Appearance
When you think of the word “feminine”, you likely think of softness and kindness. During facial feminization surgery, plastic surgeons work to recontour and soften prominent facial features to create a more attractive and feminine appearance. However, the word “feminine” is about more than just appearances; it’s about all five senses. Your voice can certainly have a tremendous impact on the way you view yourself – and the way others view you, too. Voice feminization can help you feel and sound more feminine than before.
What Is Voice Feminization?
Voice feminization surgery involves shortening the vocal cords, allowing them to produce higher-pitched sounds and reducing their ability to produce low pitches. In some cases, especially when it comes to a very deep natural voice, the surgeon may also shorten the throat. This helps to reduce reverberation and further reduce the lower range of tones, and it may even add a few extra notes to the upper range of the voice. While the changes to the voice won’t be apparent immediately after surgery, improvements will continue for months as the voice slowly becomes more and more feminine.
Who Is a Candidate for Voice Feminization Surgery?
Although voice feminization is often thought to be reserved for those who are transitioning from male to female, this is not the case at all. This surgery can benefit anyone who is bothered by his or her deep voice and who would like to sound more feminine when speaking. Those who undergo voice feminization will benefit most when they are willing to take speech therapy classes following the surgery; this helps patients learn to better utilize their shorter vocal cords, making speech more natural and less forced over time.
Is There a Long Recovery Time?
Like all surgeries, there are a few risks associated with voice feminization. You should discuss these with your doctor beforehand. However, voice feminization is a minimally-invasive surgery, so the risk of infection is significantly decreased. It does require general anesthesia, and patients will receive pain management from their physicians to help keep them comfortable as they recover. You should not speak for about two weeks after the surgery, which can be difficult. Remember that your voice may be deeper immediately following surgery due to swelling, but you’ll be able to hear the actual results in just a few months’ time.
Voice feminization is a very important surgery for many people. It allows them to complement their new, feminine appearance with a voice that is equally feminine. It’s best for those who are willing to be patient and wait for the results, and it’s also important that candidates are willing to attend speech therapy regularly following the surgery.