We've heard of face lifts, butt lifts and brow lifts, but what about a voice lift? As more Americans and people around the world turn to plastic surgery as a means to turn back the hands of time, procedures like the "voice lift" go from sounding absurd to the latest sought-after trend in cosmetic surgery.
As people consult their cosmetic surgeons on how to look young, the question of how to sound young has also started to come up in exam rooms across the country. A patient can schedule as many procedures as they want to look years younger, but if they sound feeble, they're likely going to feel it too. There is no doubt that as we age, our vocal cords do so with us, meaning that our voices are not immune to the process, especially past the age of 50. For people who depend on their voices, this is a change they are very aware of. Enter: The voice lift.
There are many legitimate procedures that are necessary when a patient suffers from a vocal cord injury. Ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors have an array of techniques they can use to repair vocal cords, remove polyps and treat patients who develop vocal cord paralysis or weakness -- especially when they have an accompanying neck injury. However, a procedure to reverse the aging process in the vocal cords is something new, and has doctors reaching into their toolbox to utilize methods they have developed for sometimes life-saving measures for the sake of vanity.
One of the methods that some ENT physicians are using to rejuvenate the vocal cords involves taking fat from the abdomen and injecting it into the vocal folds. Others involve synthetic materials like collagen, which makes the vocal folds thicker, and allows for better movement of the vocal cords.
This new trend seems to be gaining traction here in the U.S. as more people seek changes in order to feel, look and sound young again. But one has to remember, as is the case in anything that involves fillers, the procedure may only offer temporary effects, and more permanent solutions are being developed, like the use of tiny silicone implants.
The bottom line is this: Before you consider a voice lift, do your research. You don't want to "fix" Mother Nature if she's not broken. There are natural ways to exercise your vocal cords without jumping into any minimally invasive procedure, because no procedure, no matter how small, is risk-free.
If you do elect to have a voice lift, make sure that your ENT physician is board certified, with plenty of experience, and that any of these procedures are done in a properly equipped environment. As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy with my wrinkles and my voice. No need to "fix" what God gave me.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.