What effects does it have?

What is it?

Surgery to lower the fundamental frequency (pitch) of the voice.

It's also known as Relaxation thyroplasty or Type III thyroplasty.

How long does it last?

There is insufficient medical evidence to say how long the effects last for.

More information

Vocal fold relaxation is a new and uncommon surgical technique that has the ability to significantly lower the fundamental frequency (pitch) of the voice 1.

There are currently only a few small-scale short-term medical studies into using this technique in humans 2,3, and how safe and effective it is long-term remains unknown.

It is also possible to increase the mass of the vocal chords by injecting them with fat from other parts of the body. This approach normally requires periodic “top up” injections 4.

Both techniques are currently rarely used.


  1. 1 Davies, Shelagh, Papp, Viktória G and Antoni, Christella (2015) “Voice and communication change for gender nonconforming individuals: giving voice to the person inside.” International Journal of Transgenderism, 16(3), pp. 117–159.
  2. 2 Remacle, Marc, Matar, Nayla, Verduyckt, Ingrid and Lawson, Georges (2010) “Relaxation thyroplasty for mutational falsetto treatment.” Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 119(2), pp. 105–109.
  3. 3 Kocak, Ismail, Dogan, Muzeyyen, Tadihan, Elcin, Cakir, Zeynep Alkan, et al. (2008) “Window anterior commissure relaxation laryngoplasty in the management of high-pitched voice disorders.” Archives of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, 134(12), pp. 1263–1269.
  4. 4 Antoni, Christella (2017) “Vocal, Speech and Language Therapy,” in Bouman, W. P. and Arcelus, J. (eds.), The Transgender Handbook: A Guide for Transgender People, Their Families and Professionals, Nova Science Publishers Inc, pp. 319–331.

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Page last updated: September 2017