PURPOSE:  This article aims to offer a comprehensive summary of the documented effects on the voice following Wendler’s glottoplasty (WG) in transgender women and non-binary individuals (assigned male at birth) undergoing pitch-raising surgical procedures.

METHOD: In SVL’s January 2024 literature review, we have incorporated peer-reviewed articles from 2002 to 2023 to offer a comprehensive overview of the procedure and its related considerations.

RESULTS: WG has been documented as the “gold standard” pitch-raising surgical intervention with favorable long-term results. More recently, studies have highlighted additional benefits when combined with behavioral voice therapy. The literature also revealed variations in surgical techniques, discrepancies in its theoretical potential, and identified short and long-term voice complications.

CONCLUSION: Prospective patients should consult their physicians thoroughly to understand potential voice risks.

KEYWORDS: Wendler’s glottoplasty, pitch raising, voice feminization surgery, transgender, voice, glottoplasty, voice care, trans feminine, trans women, AMAB, surgery

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If you or someone you know is considering Wendler’s glottoplasty, we want to emphasize the importance of informed consent so you can make an empowered decision.

Here are some questions you may want to consider asking your surgeon(s):

  • How often have you performed Wendler’s glottoplasty?
  • What is your specific surgical approach?
  • Do you routinely perform this specific procedure on people of my age/weight/ethnicity?
  • How much will this procedure cost?
  • Are preoperative and postoperative appointments included in the cost?
  • Can I meet my anesthesiologist and discuss specific methods beforehand? Ask about what type of anesthesia will be used, how often the anesthesiologist has used this method, and if there are possible impacts on the vocal folds following.
  • I have read that there are voice risks associated with this procedure. Please explain the potential short and long-term risks.
  • How will this affect my vocal range, power, and voice quality if you are a singer?
  • What is the recovery period?
  • What is the follow-up schedule?
  • How long will I be on vocal rest for? (For planning and scheduling?)
  • When can I resume voice training? (Speaking and singing?)
  • Do you recommend completing voice therapy with a licensed SLP before and after surgery?
  • Are there special considerations that I should be aware of for the sutures?
  • Do the sutures degrade over time?
  • Communicate how important your voice and understanding of the risks are to your physician.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for guidance regarding your specific medical condition.