Adele’s vo­cal cord trou­ble not rare

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CULTURE -

which needs more ur­gent at­ten­tion, rather than more long term care.”

“There are very few sit­u­a­tions where I would say to a singer, ‘You must not use your voice’, but a vo­cal cord hem­or­rhage is one of them. It’s a dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity,” Costello said.

“Most laryn­gol­o­gists would say that a singer in that sit­u­a­tion needs to com­pletely rest their voice for cou­ple of weeks. To­tal si­lence, no whis­per­ing, no hum­ming; you have to write ev­ery­thing down. Be­cause when you’ve got a hem­or­rhage, you want it to heal with­out any scar­ring, and if you im­me­di­ately start to use your voice it might scar, and then the cord will never vi­brate again prop­erly if it’s not treated ad­e­quately.”

Bouts of si­lence is the stan­dard treat­ment for oth­ers in Adele’s sit­u­a­tion. Sam Smith was sub­ject to si­lence for three weeks af­ter Zei­t­els op­er­ated on his vo­cal cords, while Ce­line Dion es­chewed surgery in ex­change for two mute weeks to com­bat ex­treme swelling. John Mayer found suc­cess once his vo­cal cords were paral­ysed with Bo­tox, al­low­ing them to rest af­ter three years of re­cur­ring tis­sue in­flam­ma­tion.

‘No singer wants to have an op­er­a­tion on her lar­ynx, let alone two or three’

Adele’s emo­tional state­ment sug­gested that the singer in­tends to com­plete the mam­moth tour that started in Fe­bru­ary 2016. “I have changed my life dras­ti­cally in every way to make sure I got through this tour that started at the be­gin­ning of last year,” she wrote. “To not be able to fin­ish it, is some­thing I’m re­ally strug­gling to come to terms with.”

More in­for­ma­tion, fans were told, would be com­ing over the next few days, with the promise that there would be re­funds if the shows couldn’t be resched­uled.

But what of her voice? Surgery is of­ten a last re­sort for laryn­gol­o­gists: Dion’s doc­tor, Gwen Korovin, who has also worked with Ari­ana Grande and Hugh Jack­man, is known for try­ing every op­tion be­fore opt­ing for the knife.

“Clearly no singer wants to have an­other op­er­a­tion on her lar­ynx, let alone two or three,” Costello says. “As a sur­geon, it’s a con­stant bal­anc­ing act be­tween want­ing to re­move the dam­aged ar­eas, and at the same time not overdo it or re­move too much so as to cause scar­ring through surgery.”

But Adele’s sur­geon, Zei­t­els, is “world-renowned”, Costello says, and “a safe pair of hands” should she need to go un­der the knife to have other bro­ken blood ves­sels re­moved by laser treat­ment.

And, while Adele does appear to suf­fer more than other stars, there is “every rea­son to be op­ti­mistic” that she will re­turn in good voice. “There are very few patholo­gies of the vo­cal cords that mean you’ ll never sing again,” says Costello. Here’s hop­ing that Adele will re­turn for one last good­bye.

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