Scientists have claimed that patients who have undergone plastic surgery to change the appearance of their nose may also notice changes in the sound of their voice.
Changes in voice after rhinoplasty are perceptible to patients as well as to experts, but generally don't cause problems with speech function, according to the new research by Dr. Kamran Khazaeni and colleagues of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran.
However, they believe that patients considering rhinoplasty -especially those who use their voice professionally-should be aware of "potential voice alterations."
The researchers analyzed changes in voice quality in 27 patients undergoing rhinoplasty at two hospitals in Iran, where rhinoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. The patients were 22 women and five men, average age 24 years. Twenty-two percent of the patients used their voice professionally.
After rhinoplasty, patients completed a standard questionnaire to rate perceived problems with their voice. In addition, recordings of the patients' voices made before and after rhinoplasty were compared by trained listeners, who were unaware of whether they were hearing the "before or after" recordings.
The questionnaire responses showed worsening in some areas of voice quality: particularly in the physical and emotional subscales, reflecting patients' perceptions of their voice and their emotional responses to it.
The trained listeners also perceived changes in voice quality, including an increase in "hyponasality" following rhinoplasty. Hyponasal speech reflects the sound of the voice when not enough air is moving through the nasal cavity-for example, in a person with a stuffy nose.
The study has been published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.