The popular British singer Adele damaged her vocal chords (two hemorrhages). She cancelled the rest of her 2011 tour and will have surgery. http://tinyurl.com/6nwlazz
The NPR story “The Surgery That Saves Silenced Singers” tells of singers who have had similar surgeries, including Denyse Graves and Julie Andrews http://tinyurl.com/6ng3. But it fails to address the surgical procedure in the title of the article.
Dr. Steven Zeitels, a surgeon and professor specializing in Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, treated hundreds of celebrities including Julie Andrews, Roger Daltrey, Denyce Graves, confirmed that Adele was his patient.
He and Bob Langer, a professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at MIT, are developing a procedure to treat damaged vocal chords.
A bio-material gel is injected into stiff vocal chords making them pliable again. After the procedure the vocal chords vibrate naturally. Eventually they hope to be able to tune the gel “to meet the wide disparity of human vocal needs, which are greatly different for a grandparent, elementary school teacher, attorney, executive, vocalist, etcetera,” http://tinyurl.com/6m8vehu
The gel treatment will help the 13,000 Americans who develop throat tumors each year. They are hoping to test the gel on cancer patients in 2012.
Institute for Laryngology and Voice Restoration is a nonprofit created facilitate Zeitel and Landry’s work to restore lost voices. Julie Andrews is honorary chairwomen.
Julie Andrews underwent throat surgery in 1997 to remove non-cancerous nodules. The surgery permanently damaged her voice. She told Oprah: “It was not a successful operation, and tissue was removed. I didn’t have cancer, I didn’t have nodules, I didn’t have anything,” she says. “When you work on Broadway eight shows a week for a very long time … a certain kind of muscular striation happens on the vocal chords. http://tinyurl.com/7upcgkz
After the failed surgery, Julie Andrews was unable to sing professionally. She began treatment with Dr. Steven Zeitels to rehabilitate her damaged vocal chords. She is now able to sing/talk. The goal is to return her voice to its full range.
[…] The ticking went on unceasingly; and it seemed to this saint that the sound of the ticking was the ceaseless repetition of the words – ever, never; ever, never. Ever to be in hell, never to be in heaven; ever to be shut off from the presence of God, never to enjoy the beatific vision; ever to be eaten with flames, gnawed by vermin, goaded with burning spikes, never to be free from those pains; ever to have the conscience upbraid one, the memory enrage, the mind filled with darkness and despair, never to escape; ever to curse and revile the foul demons who gloat fiendishly over the misery of their dupes, never to behold the shining raiment of the blessed spirits; ever to cry out of the abyss of fire to God for an instant, a single instant, of respite from such awful agony, never to receive, even for an instant, God’s pardon; ever to suffer, never to enjoy; ever to be damned, never to be saved; ever, never; ever, never. […]