Thermal welding vs. cold knife tonsillectomy: A comparison of voice and speech
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Objective: To compare acoustic, aerodynamic and perceptual voice and speech parameters in thermal welding system tonsillectomy and cold knife tonsillectomy patients in order to determine the impact of operation technique on voice and speech. Methods: Thirty tonsillectomy patients (22 children, 8 adults) participated in this study. The preferred technique was cold knife tonsillectomy in 15 patients and thermal welding system tonsillectomy in the remaining 15 patients. One week before and 1 month after surgery the following parameters were estimated: average of fundamental frequency, Jitter, Shimmer, harmonic to noise ratio. formant frequency analyses of sustained vowels. Perceptual speech analysis and aerodynamic measurements (maximum phonation time and s/z ratio) were also conducted. Results: There was no significant difference in any of the parameters between cold knife tonsillectomy and thermal welding system tonsillectomy groups (p > 0.05). When the groups were contrasted among themselves with regards to preoperative and postoperative rates, fundamental frequency was found to be significantly decreased after tonsillectomy in both of the groups (p < 0.001). First formant for the vowel /a/ in the cold knife tonsillectomy group and for the vowel /i/ in the thermal welding system tonsillectomy group, second formant for the vowel /u/ in the thermal welding system tonsillectomy group and third formant for the vowel /u/ in the cold knife tonsillectomy group were found to be significantly decreased (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The surgical technique, whether it is cold knife or thermal welding system, does not appear to affect voice and speech in tonsillectomy patients. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.