Cricothyroid approximation to elevate vocal pitch in male-to-female transsexuals: Results of surgery

Caroline Y. Yang, Andrew D. Palmer, Toby R. Meltzer, Karen Drake Murray, James Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Functional changes in voice production, including pitch elevation, may help male-to-female transsexuals assume a new gender identity. To date, there has been a paucity of objective data on the effectiveness of pitch-raising methods. Acoustic data were gathered with regard to preoperative and postoperative changes in pitch, pitch range, and perturbation in 20 patients after cricothyroid approximation. Subjective data were gathered by means of a mailed questionnaire. The mean follow-up time was 22 months. The speaking fundamental frequency was raised by half an octave without any significant changes in perturbation. The lower and upper limits of pitch range both increased by an average of 4 semitones. There was some decline over time of the lower pitch range toward preoperative levels, but the upper pitch range remained elevated. The majority of the patients were satisfied with the results of surgery and felt their voices to be more feminine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-485
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • Cricothyroid approximation
  • Phonosurgery
  • Transsexualism
  • Vocal pitch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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