Can tonsillectomy improve one’s singing?

Here’s an evaluation that coincides with the welcome return (welcome, really? Ed.) to our television screens of the ‘singing’-competition The X Factor – could having one’s tonsils removed improve one’s singing?

Singers are understandably anxious about undergoing throat surgery in case it impairs their vocal performance. However, a recent paper from the Journal of Voice suggests that not only does tonsillectomy not damage vocal cords, but could even make you a better singer.

After surgery, the first formant – a measure of resonance of the human vocal tract – was found to have risen in the study participants. And, surprisingly, in one male for whom the fourth formant was not previously present, it appeared post-surgery.

The article was highlighted by Otolaryngology Faculty Member Andrea Ricci Maccarini and his Associate Faculty Members, Alfonso Gianluca Gucciardo and Flavio Pieri, who said, “This could mean that it is unnecessary to avoid surgery in singers only for fear of damaging their voice because, often, the surgery leads to an improvement of the voice.”

Now I’m not directly suggesting that some of the hopefuls in this years’ X-Factor feign tonsillitis in order to stand a chance of progressing to the next round, but I prefer instead to suggest that viewers may benefit from the absence from our screens of those undergoing surgery.

Check out their evaluation here.

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