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"Can I sing after diaphragm surgery?"


I am a 25 year old opera singer in need of diaphragm surgery. Naturally I'm worried about my ability to sing. How long will it take me to heal? What should I expect? How can I strengthen my diaphragm after surgery?


Diaphragm surgery is a very involved and complicated procedure with incidental complications that vary depending on the type of surgery that you are having. Given that your diaphragm is so important for survival, as well as being able to sing, it is important to understand what you are up against and what to expect peri- and post-operatively. Considering that your career depends on your ability to recover well, it is imperative that you have a well regarded surgeon with an excellent reputation and that the two of you are able to discuss frankly the risks and benefits of your surgery.

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Some of the simpler diaphragmatic surgeries can expect to have an excellent recovery with minimal disruption of your abilities, but there are others that would be much more concerning. For that reason, only your surgeon who is intimately aware of the details surrounding your procedure and risk factors would be able to answer this question completely. Please discuss with him or her your concerns and determine what resources are available to optimize your recovery and ability to project and control your voice as you do currently.

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