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VOCAL HEALTH
Headed For Surgery? Ask Anesthesiologist About
A 'Laryngeal Mask Airway' To Protect Your Throat
June 17, 2015

By Dale Leopold

Voice Actor

I want to share something I learned after undergoing two minor surgeries last month.

For the first surgery, I was put under general anesthesia, which included the use of an endotrachial tube.

This left me with a sore throat and hoarseness that lasted a few days - and I had to sign a waiver that listed damage to vocal cords among several dire potential complications.

When I mentioned this to the anesthesiologist prior to the second surgery, he suggested using a Laryngeal Mask Airway - LMA (see photo). Unlike the normal tube, the LMA doesn't reach down past the vocal cords.

And it made a HUGE difference in how I felt afterwards - no hoarseness and no sore throat!
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So the next time you're thinking about going under, ask your anesthesiologist if an LMA is right for you.
More at Wikipedia.
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ABOUT DALE
Dale Leopold is a bilingual (English and Spanish) voice actor who lives near Richmond, VA. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Dale was an "embassy brat" who grew up all over Latin America, and spent 20 years in IT before turning to voice acting. His client list includes Sesame Workshop, Rosetta Stone, Telemundo, Dutch Docklands and Kaiser Permanente. When not behind the microphone, Dale can be seen on the Richmond stage, and has appeared onscreen in the AMC series Turn


Email: dale@daleleopold.com
Web: www.daleleopold.com


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Comments (6)
Mukti Garceau
6/18/2015 at 4:37 PM
Thank you for the info, Dale! Am going in for surgery next week and being a voice over and vocalist, and not having had surgery before, I am going to make sure to ask the anesthesiologist.

Cheers!

Mukti G.
www.MuktiGarceau.com
Michelle
6/18/2015 at 12:23 PM
Good to know! I have surgery next month and this had not even occurred to me. Thanks for the info!
Traci Wilde
6/17/2015 at 8:44 PM
this would have been a huge benefit exactly one week earlier!! i am still noticing a "vocal void" from the same situation even though i discussed the need for delicacy and my concerns due to my career. I am hoping it passes soon.
George Asteri
6/17/2015 at 8:05 PM
Dale,

Thanks for the outstanding tip, Dale!

I once went under the knife, where the general anesthesia was more painful than the surgery itself. It reminded me of the pain I felt after a tonsillectomy.

Anything to help voice actors prevent vocal cord damage is more than just helpful - it is invaluable!

Gratefully yours,
George Asteri
GeorgeAsteri.com
Howard Ellison
6/17/2015 at 4:34 PM
Phew! To know is to be prepared. Thanks for the valuable tip, Dale. My dentist wanted to pull a tooth, leaving a gap. It had not occurred to him that a whistling ess would halt my work, perhaps permanently.
Elizabeth Holmes
6/17/2015 at 12:03 PM
THANK YOU for this, Dale! I hope this helps voice actors avoid injury. Recovery from endotrachial intubation is no joke.
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