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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53-57

Voice acoustic changes after uvulopalatopharyngo-plasty surger

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt
2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Phoniatrics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Safinaz Nagib Azab
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Phoniatrics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-9748.157468

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Background: All surgical procedures for treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea modify the anatomical structure of the upper airways and the resonance characteristics of the vocal tract; this can lead to a modification in voice. Aim of the Work: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possible modifications of the fundamental frequency (F0) and of the frequency and amplitude of the first (F1) and second (F2) formants of the 6 Arabic vowels after the surgical operation uvulopalatopharyngoplasty for snoring, to verify if and how this operation can influence changes of voice. Materials and Methods: A total of 40 patients suffering from habitual snoring with or without mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome due to upper airway obstruction at the palatal level, not affected by laryngeal, pulmonary or neurologic disorders likely to alter voice production, were selected for the study. All were submitted to acoustic voice analysis prior to surgery and again 1-month after discharge. Results: F0 was unchanged. The frequency of F1 of the vowel/a/vowel/æ/and F2 of the vowel/e/were significantly higher, whereas F1 of/i/and F2 of/o/and/u/were significantly lower compared with preoperative values. Conclusions and Recommendations: The modifications in the anatomical structure and volume of the vocal tract, induced by the surgical procedure used for the treatment of snoring, can modify the values of the formants and as a consequence, change of the voice. This change can be detected not only by means of the acoustic analysis but also by the patient itself. For this reason, singers, and all professional voice users about to undergo surgical treatment for snoring should be informed of this potential modification of the voice not only for clinical reasons but also for legal purposes.

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