Author Topic: A second chance with Yeson?  (Read 993 times)

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Offline kwala

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A second chance with Yeson?
« on: March 14, 2017, 01:06:44 am »
Greetings!

Many of you have read reports about my failed VSF that ended with me having the web removed and suffering permanent vocal damage.  Well, recently after discussing my injury with my current voice doctor, it occurred to me that the top portion of my vocal cords are uninjured and still healthy. Currently, I have much more functionality than I had with the large, loose, U-shaped web that resulted from Dr. Haben's poor attempt, but I sound incredibly hoarse and still struggle with volume in noisy situations. The outer lining of my cords (called lamina propria) is stiff and uneven on the bottom portion which causes the hoarseness when the cords come together. Anyway, my doctor and I surmised that if a better, tighter web were created, in addition to raising my pitch, there is a chance that it could help my hoarseness by negating or webbing over the scarred portion, leaving only the healthy (or mostly healthy) upper portion free to vibrate. I reached out to Yeson in an email complete with a recent stroboscopy and Dr. Kim seemed to think that my hypothesis has some merit. He said, however, he may have to use a pulse dye laser to smooth out some of the scarring, depending on how high up it is, wait a year for it to heal and then create the web. He won't know until he has a chance to see it in person. We are both on the same page as far as one thing though: more than a feminine voice, what I am really seeking is a clear voice. Pitch gain would just be an extra bonus for me.

I'm putting this out here because firstly, I'm still incredibly hesitant about trying a web glottoplasty again. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result. But then again, a different doctor and a different technique as well as different goals come into play. Am I crazy for even thinking about it? My voice quality is poor for sure, but I'm much better off than I was after Doctor Haben's surgery. Should I just settle for this voice?

Secondly, those of you who have been through VSF with Yeson have you seen video of your webbed cords while phonating? How deep do the vibrations go? Is it essentially only vibrating on top or does the web appear to play a role in the vibration? Thanks in advance. It will help me greatly in making this choice.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 09:34:42 am by kwala »

Online Dena

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 02:16:06 am »
My primary thought is the reason the original surgery failed is because for some reason your body over healed making the folds shorter than they should be. Any damage to your folds may activate the same over healing leading to additional complications. Should you decide on surgery again, the doctor should be very aware this can happen and error on the side of doing less than is needed. In addition, after surgery you might consider weekly monitoring so any issues can be spotted early and addressed before they get out of hand.
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Offline kwala

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 12:27:37 am »
Well, according to the team of doctor's who have worked on me since, the fault was with Dr. Haben and "over healing" was an excuse he used for a poorly done job. In any case, I have sent Dr. Kim photos of my first web that he has reviewed just so he is aware of what happened last time.

Offline Miyuki

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 01:04:32 am »
A big part of the reason I decided to go to Dr. Kim at Yeson for my surgery, is because unlike certain other surgeons, he has a very consistent track record of success. If Dr. Kim says he thinks he can help you, my instinct would be to believe him. I guess there are no guarantees in this type of situation, but I don't think Dr. Kim would do anything that would leave you worse off than you are now.

Offline kwala

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 11:14:32 am »
A big part of the reason I decided to go to Dr. Kim at Yeson for my surgery, is because unlike certain other surgeons, he has a very consistent track record of success. If Dr. Kim says he thinks he can help you, my instinct would be to believe him. I guess there are no guarantees in this type of situation, but I don't think Dr. Kim would do anything that would leave you worse off than you are now.

Thanks for the response. I feel similarly. I know he has turned certain patients away with other conditions or those he feels do not need surgery and will not operate if you have a cold so I know he takes his work and results seriously. Seems like a genuine caring person. Of course I've never met him, but even my correspondence through his assistant has been very professional. She's provided very specific answers to my questions which I greatly appreciate.

Offline kwala

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 09:01:29 pm »
Well, it's time for an update. I had surgery with Dr. Kim this week and am recovering well.

I had been in touch with the Yeson staff many times over the past several months with videos, photos, and other medical record so that Dr. Kim could make the most informed decision possible about how to tackle the current state of my vocal cords. After doing the normal series of in person tests, Yeson used an incredible strobe machine to view my vocal cords vibrating at something like 3000 frames per second. The results: not good. Dr. Kim felt that my scarring from Dr. Haben's giant web is so high up that creating another web would do nothing to help me out and could potentially make things worse. So, we opted to treat the scarring itself. If you know anything about vocal fold impairments, then you know that scarring is the worst and hardest to treat and there really isn't a known fix. However, as usual Yeson is a step ahead of where we are in the states and uses a pulsed dye laser treatment. Not really a perfect or even "good" fix but it is the best available. Now I just have to continue to be silent and see how much, if any function I can get back. 

I'm really grateful to Dr. Kim for trying everything and taking my case so seriously from the get go before ever meeting me.  That being said, this was really my last hope in terms of a real cure, and while I knew it was a long shot it's really begun to hit me that I'll probably never sing again. I'll likely always be a little more shy and hesitant to jump into conversations because I have trouble being heard. I'll always have social anxiety about going to parties or loud places where I can't compete with the noise level. I no longer have the luxury of worrying about a voice that passes or doesn't pass, I simply have to try to make a voice that is audible. These are all things that Doctor Haben took from me. Things he promised wouldn't happen. It's funny, I was so concerned with controlling my own healing process and doing it correctly, that it barely occurred to me that the surgeon could be so blatantly negligent.  I showed Dr. Kim the pictures of my original surgical site back in 2015 and he exclaimed something shocking in Korean and then just said "WHYY??" He even drew a little picture of vocal folds and pointed to where he creates a sutures site. Then pointed to where Dr. Haben went and shook his head saying, "No, no, no..."

Anyway, Dr. Kim couldn't make any promises about vocal quality (just have to hope) but he did say he thinks he can make it easier for me to get sound. The tests they performed show that I work more than 9 times harder than a normal human to produce sound. If this laser can loosen up some of the stiff portions even a little bit, I may be able to gain some volume and it'll require less air pressure to sustain a sound.  So I just have to hope for those little gains while slowly accepting the fact that I'll have a vocal disability for the rest of my life. Doesn't feel good right now but I'm trying.

Offline Miyuki

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2017, 02:36:20 am »
It's really great to hear from you again. It's too bad we missed each other in Korea by just a few weeks, it would have been cool to meet up... I don't want to turn this into a Dr. Haben bashing thread, but wow, just wow. I was initially planning to go to Dr. Haben since I wrongly assumed the procedures he and Dr. Kim were performing were basically equivalent, but I decided against it after listening more closely to his results and realizing even in the best case scenario the people he treated were left with a mild raspy quality to their voice that I really didn't care for. I mean, I had a very good sounding trained voice, I wasn't about to risk messing it up on a procedure I knew would just leave it sounding worse. The horror stories where things didn't go quite so well didn't help either.

I'm very sorry to hear Dr. Kim wasn't able to do something that would fully restore your voice, but I guess better is better. Dr. Kim said I was using my voice something like 13 times harder than a normal person for my trained voice (which is all I ever really used), so believe me, I know how exhausting doing that all the time can be. I know you probably don't feel great about things now, but your voice may improve more from this procedure than you think it will, and there may be other options in the future. Not too long ago, they were talking about achieving success with translating vocal tissue grown from stem cells in animals, so you never know.

Incidentally, have you gotten out to explore Seoul much? There was a place called Club FF my brother and I stumbled upon that we though was pretty cool, and they have live music tonight if you're up for it. The building is pretty easy to find on Google maps. The club is downstairs, and the cover to get in is 15,000 won. There's also a cat cafe nearby (not sure exactly where it is, but there are signs) that is great for stress relief. You might want to consider checking it out if you're feeling up to it.

Offline kwala

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2017, 04:33:17 pm »
Thanks for the ideas. I've been doing okay on my own shopping and visiting some of the historical sites. I was here on a trip in college like 8 years ago and things have changed a lot already. It's a really amazing city and I wish I had done a bit more exploring when I still had a voice, but jetlag really messed me up the first few days and then it was surgery time.

Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely hoping for some noticeable improvement and I'll do everything in my power to have a smooth recovery and stick to the rules. That being said, I think I had sort of been able to avoid grieving the loss of my voice by piling up procedures and plans to try and get it working again. We'll, I've now checked the last option on the list, so it's starting to hit me like a ton of bricks. Before all of this started I was a really outgoing person, a social butterfly if you will, and over these past two years I just haven't been able to be myself.  Just have to make adjustments. But it's going to take a long time to get over this, if I ever truly do.

Offline katrieneerdekens

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2017, 01:33:00 pm »
Hi Kwala,

I'm a voice therapist from Antwerp specialized in voice feminization and I was reading your story with lots of interest and I was also a bit scared too.
But I'm very happy to read that the surgery with Dr Kim went well, I would also trust him like 100%!
Make sure you do a lot of voice therapy when recovering from the surgery, your voice are muscles and it's important you train them now they are in full recovery after the vocal rest period that Dr Kim recommended you.
Can you please update on how your voice quality is going?
If you want, I have a network of specialized voice therapist to help you in your country.

All the best to you and your voice!

Offline audreelyn

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 02:07:31 pm »
Kwala,

sad to hear that Haben didn't work out. I hope that Dr. Kim pulls through for you. Hugs!

Offline kwala

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 02:18:36 pm »
Hi Kwala,

I'm a voice therapist from Antwerp specialized in voice feminization and I was reading your story with lots of interest and I was also a bit scared too.
But I'm very happy to read that the surgery with Dr Kim went well, I would also trust him like 100%!
Make sure you do a lot of voice therapy when recovering from the surgery, your voice are muscles and it's important you train them now they are in full recovery after the vocal rest period that Dr Kim recommended you.
Can you please update on how your voice quality is going?
If you want, I have a network of specialized voice therapist to help you in your country.

All the best to you and your voice!
Thanks for your concern. I know that if anyone can undo some of the damage that was done to me in Rochester it's Dr. Kim. But sulcus vocalis is the one voice disorder that just doesn't have a real fix. The surgery Dr. Kim performed is the best available, but results vary and even the best results don't usually yield a voice that feels or sounds "normal."  I have a speech pathologist I've been seeing over the past year and I will definitely be doing exercises and strengthening on my own once I reach that stage of the recovery period.

Offline kwala

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2017, 02:20:12 pm »
Kwala,

sad to hear that Haben didn't work out. I hope that Dr. Kim pulls through for you. Hugs!
Good to hear from you after so long! This has been a two year nightmare and while I do expect some small improvements from Dr. Kim's surgery, I think Dr. Haben has crippled me for life.

Offline audreelyn

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 01:32:49 pm »
Good to hear from you after so long! This has been a two year nightmare and while I do expect some small improvements from Dr. Kim's surgery, I think Dr. Haben has crippled me for life.

I am so sorry to hear about all of this, it makes me terribly sad to hear of all the bs you had to endure.

I've since stopped recommending anyone to Dr. Haben. Yeson is the only way to go, it seems.

Keep us updated. Hugs.

Offline Jacqueline

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2017, 03:42:02 pm »
Hi Kwala,

I'm a voice therapist from Antwerp specialized in voice feminization and I was reading your story with lots of interest and I was also a bit scared too.
But I'm very happy to read that the surgery with Dr Kim went well, I would also trust him like 100%!
Make sure you do a lot of voice therapy when recovering from the surgery, your voice are muscles and it's important you train them now they are in full recovery after the vocal rest period that Dr Kim recommended you.
Can you please update on how your voice quality is going?
If you want, I have a network of specialized voice therapist to help you in your country.

All the best to you and your voice!


Hi katrieneerdekens,

Welcome to the site.

Sorry this is so late getting to you.

Thanks for jumping in and offering suggestions. We appreciate support here.

I also want to share some links with you. They are mostly welcome information and the rules that govern the site. If you have not had a chance to look through them, please take a moment:

Things that you should read


Once again, welcome to Susan's. Look around, ask questions and join in.

With warmth,

Jacqui
1st Therapy: February 2015
First Endo visit & HRT StartJanuary 29, 2016
Jacqueline from Joanna July 18, 2017



Offline katrieneerdekens

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2017, 06:46:15 am »

Hi katrieneerdekens,

Welcome to the site.

Sorry this is so late getting to you.

Thanks for jumping in and offering suggestions. We appreciate support here.

I also want to share some links with you. They are mostly welcome information and the rules that govern the site. If you have not had a chance to look through them, please take a moment:

Things that you should read


Once again, welcome to Susan's. Look around, ask questions and join in.

With warmth,

Jacqui

Thank you very much dear Jacqui! You can ask my anything about voice here in the forum. I'll try to give my suggestions where necessary.

Offline kwala

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Re: A second chance with Yeson?
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2017, 11:53:16 am »
I am a few days away from the 8 week mark of my PDL surgery with Dr. Kim. I've only been speaking for about 3 weeks, only at soft to moderate volumes. I have so far been pleasantly surprised. Dr. Kim estimated that I won't see the full results or a big difference until I'm between 4-6 months post op but I have already experienced some improvement in tone and volume. My voice is still not 100% clear, but the raspiness is less pronounced, and the tendency to split into multiple tones (Diplophonia) is significantly lower. I haven't tried singing or shouting because it's forbidden for a few more days. I suspect that those activities will still be horrid sounding/impossible but there is still hope as I keep healing. I have to send Dr. Kim a scope video in a few weeks for analysis so we'll see what further predictions he has following that. So far, the improvements are a nice surprise and I can only hope they have more to do with the surgery and not just the botox. I'll update again after he's reviewed my scope, but for now I'm cautiously optimistic. 

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