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Vocal Cord Surgery

Vocal Cord Surgery/Voice Care Home Instructions


  1. Complete the number of days of vocal rest prescribed by your surgeon: ______ days.
  2. No whispering, coughing, throat clearing, heavy lifting, or exercise.
  3. Start using your voice slowly and easily following the voice rest period, including use of your voice exercises. Gradually increase the time you use your voice. Rest your voice often.
  4. Return to the office within 5-7 days after surgery for a check-up.
  5. Take medications as prescribed.

The following schedule is recommended for the days following vocal rest. These guidelines are for voice use and rest per hour, per day:


  1. 5-10 minutes of voice use per hour/45-55 minutes of voice rest per hour.
  2. Do not talk for more than 1-2 minutes at a time.


  1. 15-20 minutes of voice use per hour/30-35 minutes of voice rest per hour.
  2. Do not talk for more than 5-6 minutes at a time.


  1. 25-35 minutes of voice use per hour/15 minutes of voice rest per hour.
  2. Do not talk for more than 10 minutes at a time.

WEEKS 1 through 4:

  1. The voice you use should be easy and maybe slightly breathy, definitely not forced or strained. Use soft to moderate loudness, but do not whisper. Use this easy voice primarily during weeks 1 and 2. Gradually resume normal voice during week 3, again with no vocal effort.
  2. Avoid vocal abuse throughout these first 4 weeks including loud talking, prolonged talking, yelling, screaming and throat clearing.
  3. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
  4. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and all tobacco products.

Call 703-573-7600, x1106 (Triage line) or the on-call doctor after hours immediately if there is any abrupt change in your voice symptoms during this period of time, specifically a decline in your voice function or new onset of pain. (LPV 3/10)


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