My surgery

As many of you have heard, I will be having throat surgery this December. I wanted to clear the air on all of the rumors and let you know the truth. I have had a husky voice my entire life and I always thought it was from too much talking. I finally found a brilliant throat specialist who discovered the real cause of my vocal problems. Apparently I have a tiny little bump on my vocal chord that is completely benign, but when my throat becomes swollen, from too much talking etc., it rubs against the other side of my throat and aggravates the area. She suggested I get the thing lobbed off and rest my voice for about two weeks while I am on holiday break this December (I admit, this will be the hardest part). The procedure is so easy, that I won’t even spend the night in the hospital. After the two week rest period, who knows, I might even have a new sounding voice!

However, I do not have cancer of any kind. In fact, my mom made me get a full exam when I hit 40 (no joke-I actually gave blood on my birthday) and the report I got back was that I am the picture of health. My good cholesterol is the highest this doctor has ever seen and my bad cholesterol is the lowest. My blood pressure is perfect. The rumors about throat cancer really bother me, not only because they are completely false, but also because it disregards the feelings of those people who actually have throat cancer. To make light of a serious condition like this is inexcusable.

So wish me luck  and I’ll be back in action and signing books on my annual book tour during the first two weeks of December.  Hope I see ya on the road!

539 Responses to “My surgery”

  1. Bob says:

    Rachael…read of your voice problems and I had a similar procedure 5 different times. My doctor, a foremost specialist in the Midwest, finally figured out it was reflux causing most of the problem and not overuse from teaching. Don’t know if you suffer any effects, but it is worth checking out. I have not had a problem in 7 years. Good luck with the surgery, and don’t worry…it’s really simple, and you only have to be on vocal rest for 72 hours.

  2. Melinda says:

    I hope you were able to eat turkey this Thanksgiving. But, more importantly, you are doing OK and will return to work soon. We miss you.

  3. Louise says:

    Hey Rach,
    I wish you luck and get lots of rest to see you in the New Year!
    From a Canadian fan who loves your show and thinks you are the “sweetest little chef” on the planet!
    Hammond, Ontario, Canada

  4. karen howell says:

    Hi Rachael…:-)

    I’m happy for you that you will do something for yourself you want to do, and I pray all goes well. But….. I have to say this… to me, your voice as it is goes well with who you are. It is a part of you that I always found unique. I’m almost sad it will soon be gone, but I am happy for you!


  5. Susan Eveland says:

    Hi Rachel, Just hooked into your website and was pleased to hear the truth about your upcoming surgery. I also read you bio and discovered we share the same Birthdate tee hee I am much older than you are… Best wishes for your recuperation.

  6. Bill Wood says:

    Hey Rach,

    Until now, I hadn’t heard about your surgery but for quite some time I had suspected that something just wasn’t right about your voice (no offense!). I’m so glad that you found out what it was and that it wasn’t cancer!

    You’re in my prayers, and I wish you all the best for a speedy recovery!

  7. Eva Steele says:

    Rachael, You are very much in our prayers that the surgery goes well and that God will put his protective arm around you. Any surgery is scary now days. I watch you show daily and you will be missed.
    Take care of yourself and you will be in our thoughts and prayers! God bless

  8. Linda says:

    Hi Rachel:

    I’m so glad to hear that you will be OK. No cancer!!Please listen to the doctor and rest your voice afterwards. I had a weird virus in June and it attacked my vocal cords. I had trouble breathing, swallowing, etc., and lost my voice completely. And I never stop talking either!! I had to call 911 and even when they were wheeling me out of the house with the oxygen I kept taking the oxygen off of my mouth so I could keep talking. But nothing was coming out!!!!

    After biopsys, cat scans, etc. I was diagnosed with a paralyzed vocal cord, 2 months later!!! How weird was that? Anyhow they told me it could take 6 – 12 months to get my voice back. Well with the help of a great speech therapist and a new ENT doctor, I am finally much better. But I must say it is very exhausting trying to speak with this condition. Doesn’t it just tire you out? The speech therapist taught me to breathe the correct way, it’s something like putting your breath behind your voice. The breathing only took me one session to learn. It was a piece of cake. You are a very strong and optimistic person, you will be fine!!!

    You are the best. You have not only inspired me to be a better cook, but even my son has become a great cook.

    Best of luck to you and we love you!

    You are in our prayers,

  9. mari says:

    Hola,rachel i’m so happy to hear you’re ok.please ta ke good care of your self, we love you.but we also want you to be ok.I know what is like to have surgery,i had one when i was very litle but i remember it, like it was yesterday.Hey rachel contact me i have some recepies to share with you. god bless you.

  10. Mia in Ohio says:

    Rachel, I had the same surgery to get nodules removed from my vocal chords when I was 10. No problems at all. I didn’t even realize that my voice was that hoarse until the doctor recorded it for me. I am 100% healed and nodule free at 30-something. My voice was not effected at all by the surgery, it only got better (which I am grateful for, because I cannot imagine me not talking!) Anyhow, I wish you the best and speedy recovery from your surgery. I look forward to seeing you at the book signing in Dayton on the 10th!


  11. John "Ski" says:

    Rachel: We will be praying for you for a successful surgery. Listen to your surgeon. Rest! Listen to your wonderful mom, also. And, if you need a nurse, I am available. Honestly. Been doing ICU, OR since the Air Force in 1967. Been a real nurse (RN) since ’71. So, kiddo, call if you need a good christian happily married male (yes, there are a few of us)registered nurse; call me. One of my strengths is humor & prayer. We wish you: Peace, Good Health, and God Bless y’all and America … ski

  12. Robin says:

    May you come through your surgery successfully, we need to hear your voice for many more of your multiple directions and comments, in the future. You are very special to our family, as, my baby cousin, Mark Strnad had a brain tumor and a wish to be with you! He was granted a cooking session with you from the Make a Wish Foundation.. You were extremely generous in your time and energy for him, and for that, we will always be grateful.You are a priceless individual, and again wish you well, love from Robin

  13. Kathy says:

    Well good luck with the removel of the lump, it is’nt very nice for those to assume the worst such as cancer and those that do have it I,m sure are not too happy either of the assumptions.
    Your show is wonderful and like everyone else we are looking forward to your return SOON,good luck Rachael and God bless.

  14. Kathy says:

    You will be missed for those 2 weeks you know? All is praying for you a quick recovery, it will be great to see you back with {maybe} a different tone in your voice, hope not too much of a change because the voice you had was great too.Good Luck.

  15. Laura says:

    Dear Rach, Hope your surgery goes great. I’ve always wanted to write and tell you that the raspy voice was probably nothing major. I’m also one of those raspy talkers. People are always saying something, like I hope you feel better, that sounds like it must really hurt and the answer was always no, I was having a surgery on my jaw joint and they made me go to an ENT and have it looked at before surgery and she put the scope with the camera down the nose and had me talk while she was watching the vocal chords, wish mine was just a bump, my vocal chords don’t come together just right, they call it a Glottis Chink, so any irritation, allergies, post nasal drip, etc and I go raspy, mine can’t be fixed with surgery, as of now there’s no cure for mine, but good luck with yours, you’ll do great!

  16. Michelle says:

    Rachael you are an amazing person. Best of luck with your surgery. As i Know you will be fine.

  17. Liz says:

    Hi Rach, Love your show. I live in Windsor,Ontario Canada and I had the same surgery as you will have. It was hell not talking for two weeks. I have a family that made fun of me. My husband loved the fact that I could not talk. Good luck! You are in my prayers.

  18. jeremiah says:

    I don’t know how we will survive not hearing you for 2 weeks. Man this will be torture for you and me both. Your in my prayers and I really love your show and all you do help simplify and make cooking so enjoyable. I would love to see you get to make a trip to Florida sometime. Your Outstanding in my book!

  19. Connie says:

    Rachael -

    All the best to you with your surgery and your recovery. Get lots of rest and please take care of yourself!! I’m sure John will give you lots of TLC.


  20. Zac says:

    My name is Zac, I am 14 year old and love your shows. I enjoy cooking many of your recipes. I met you today in Nashville at your book signing. I slipped you a note on snowman paper with my phone number. I wanted to talk to you today about your surgery, but I was star-struck when I saw you. My grandma had the same surgery last year and had no problems with the procedure. However, like you, she enjoys talking. I bought her a small dry-erase board to write notes on – thought this idea may help you too. Please call me sometime, I’d love to visit with you.

  21. Kirsten says:

    Best of luck in your surgery. You will be in my thoughts and prayers!

  22. vita says:

    hope all goes well with your surgery.Merry Xmas and A Healthy New Year to you and John

  23. Kay Davis says:

    Good Luck Rachael,I will be praying for you!!!!!
    Merry Christmas & Best wishes for a healthy & happy New Year!

  24. Stacy Kaufman says:


    I want to thank you so much for inspiring me to go get my throat checked. I watched you show a few months back about dispelling the cancer rumor. In that show, you had ‘the scope’ and you showed the movie on the air. You remember…heee…haaaa..hooooo…funny, my Dr. made me do the same sounds! Hmmm, I thought. So many of my friends tell me that I sound like you (wish I could cook like you)…always seem to run out of air when I speak, which I tend to do allot of…and have had a case of laryngitis for the past year. On my 45th birthday, my girlfriends helped me fulfill my dream of being a lounge singer. That was 3 years ago. This year, I couldn’t even sing Happy Birthday to my 16 year old!

    I call Dr. Agresti at Palm Beach Eyes, Nose and Throat and made an appointment. If you could do it on air..I could do it.

    I went last Wednesday 12/3 and immediately saw the ‘node’ on my vocal chord. She said, she wasn’t concerned with Cancer, but it needed to come out…NOW. I am in sales and always am speaking to groups, doing trade shows etc. My busiest season starts mid-January. I figured now was a good time to get it done…so I scheduled it for the following Wednesday…12/10 THIS MORNING. I cant talk for a few days..then need to take it easy for a few weeks.

    I had my node removed this morning. I think I was more nauseous the day before just thinking about it. I arrived at 7:30…was sleeping by 9…and they told me I could leave at noon. My husband brought me home…and by 2pm I was feeling fine. A bit of a sore throat, but I have had worse. Dr. Agresti will, of course, biopsy the node, but I am not worried.

    Thanks so much for your inspiration. I kept putting it off, as I knew that whatever it was, I would need some surgery. I know you must have encouraged others to do the same.

    I enjoy your new format including more ‘issues’, but of course, I also love you food. On Thanksgiving, I made your Sweet Potato Custard…from your magazine…It was AMAZING!

    I may be in NYC Jan 5,6 and 7. I’m going to look into getting tickets to your show.

    Thanks again. Your show is cute, fun and a truly illuminating..and if things didn’t go my way …It may have just saved my life!

    Thanks for being you!


  25. Brandy Prunty says:

    You are an amazing woman and I like your scratchy voice. I know how it must feel to have something you want fixed. I have an eye issue I would love to have fixed but, we have yet to find that amazing doctor that you found. It does not matter I have a great family and I can see. Good luck and have an amazing Holiday you deserve it. I have all my friends at work hooked on your show and magazine. Thank you for giving us an hour of laughs each day.

  26. Dana says:

    Rachael, Good luck with your upcoming surgery. I had a feeling for a long time you may have had a nodule. I, unfortunately have had 3 surgeries on my vocal cords and now have permanant scar tissue and damage. Hopefully you found a doctor who uses modern procedure. I was clueless and had 2 surgeries the old way. They scrapped my vocal cord, leaving scars and broken blood vessels. I was fortunate enough to find a great specialist out of Strong Memorial in Rochester, NY, who was able to perform a laser surgery to correct some of the damage. I am permanantly disabled, due to the previous procedures, but my voice is much better than it was after the previous surgeries. Make sure your surgeon did a video strobe on you. They should also be removing it with a laser to minimize scarring. Good luck, and feel free to email me if you have any concerns!! I’m sure you will do great!

  27. Seth Atchley says:


    I just saw on your show you elude to your throat surgury. Unless medically necessary, dont you DARE change that voice. It’s what makes Rachael Ray, well Rachael Ray. I would miss it terribly!!!!

    Seth in NYC

  28. Thomas Landers says:

    Hi Rachael, I hope the surgery helps. I watch your show almost every day. I love it and am a big fan of yours. I bought your Big Orange Book a couple weeks ago, and love it.

    May you have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
    Tom Landers
    Reeds springs Missouri

  29. April D. says:

    Hey Rach. I watch your show almost every day. I set it up to record on my DVR. I love to cook and my mom teases me that I act like Rachael Ray. I love your show and good luck with the surgery. Also I love Colby and watched him on both episodes of Survrior. Maybe one day I will get to come and meet you both.

    Happy Holidays

  30. kaiser says:

    hi sweetheart ^^ how are you!

    am kaiser from Kuwait! we love watching your show ^^

    its so fun and cool! ^^ that’s what my little sister think. but as for me i watch you because your so good making us hungry all the time ^^ your so good at cooking… your just a legend to us ^^

    i wish if you can make some Kuwaiti recipes am so sure you’ll make a good Kuwaiti food ^^

    we love you rach and good luck ^^

    p.s: you got a really charming smile! ^^

  31. ann says:

    Rach!!! love your shows, love your books, LOVE YOU!! haha anywho, i give you all the love, praise and well wishes for a speedy recovery and to let you know that this is nothing you cant handle :) :) :)

  32. Ash-2da-ley says:

    rach, im glad you are okay…hope the thing went well..love the show..

  33. Arlene Di Caterina says:

    I’m glad to hear that you are OK…God bless you a lot!

  34. Arlene Di Caterina says:

    I’m your #1 fan…

  35. Rachael,

    Glad the news is all good. All the best during 2009 and always.

  36. andrean harding says:

    hi racheal,
    glad to know that you are fine…im your #1 fan….may god bless you a lot and for your information you are always in my prayers……….

  37. janey -speech path says:

    Rachael, I have been following you, your success, and your wonderful recipes for several years. When your website first became available, I tried to contact you, as, being a speech pathologist with a special interest/expertise in voice, I was concerned about your voice and vocal health a long, long time ago.!! I strongly encourage you to also seek out the expertise of a qualified voice specialist (certificed speech pathololgist) we have some of the finest in the world to guide you through this surgery and beyond…. vocal nodules do and will return if not addressed pre and post surgery. I wish you continued success and vocal health! Janey

  38. brandi vanase says:

    I would like to let you know i have chronic laryngitis where my vocal cords are red n swollen i wanted to tell you what my throat fr told me that clearing your throat is the worst thing for you because it bangs your vocal cords together n makes irrigation n swelling worse just wanted to pass some advice in…thank u

  39. Michele says:

    Has this problem resurfaced again? I have noticed that you have been hoarse & clearing your throat a lot lately! Hopefully, it’s nothing serious!

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