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. Heather says:

    hi rac i just wanted to say hi and hope your sur. goes well…take care and hope you get on your feet soon…love your show…keep up the good work. i was wonderin to if you are goin to have your dog food in the north coast at all? i would love to buy some… i have a lil doggie his name is jackson…his part mini pin and chu. long hair…he is so cute he is almost 3….take care
    h. from sunny california

  2. Jennifer Cass-Favata says:

    I am definitely sending positive energy your way, Rachael. And I totally agree with your position on rumors, throat cancer, disregarding feelings of others…. It just isn’t right. It’s almost as if you’re wishing something bad on someone when you start throwing out those types of statements. Good luck to you – you’ve had plenty so far, so this, I’m sure, will work out fine for you. I can’t wait to meet you at the Chestnut Hill Mall in Massachusetts – niether can my in-laws, since they hail from Lake George and we have family in Troy, Niskayuna, Schenectady (where my “of Sicilian descent” husband was born), Saratoga Springs…you get the picture! Both of my kids want to meet you, too…my son (5) whenever we pulled out one of your first cookbooks, became an instant fan. He loves cooking and said to me, “Okay, Mom. Let’s cook. You be Rachael and I’ll be Ray!” He was 3 at the time. It was too cute!
    Again, good luck in everything you do – good health to you and I can’t believe you’re 40! You look as good as you cook, girl! Hope to see you soon.

  3. Glorie says:

    We sound alike! I’ve also always had a raspy, hoarse voice and just found out that I also have to have some minor vocal cord surgery too! You’ll be going thru it before me so I’ll be interested to see how you’re doing. Not speaking for me will be difficult because I have two boys that I’m constantly redirecting! Good Luck with your surgery! I hope it’s as easy as they make it sound!

  4. Martina says:

    Hello! I’m happy you are getting treated soon, I’ve been watching you for a while and I noticed your voice changing–I was concerned for you. You know there is always going to be rumors–but you are the BEST—I LOVE YOU AND YOUR “SHOWS”. I’m hoping to go to your book signing. My prayers are with you, do what the DR orders! Take Care!

  5. kathy says:

    rachael im very glad you put the rumors to rest nobody needs to realy know is wrong in your life that is your business nobody elses but am glad to hear that its noughthing serices hope everything goes very well for you and good luck watch your everyday me and my husband dont miss a day god bless you and your family love your show

  6. Santiago Velazquez says:

    Rachael, I can’t cook for nothing. I really can’t, I burn down the kitchen once and I do not try it no more. I watch your show and ask someone to be in the kitchen so I can make the fool. It is you that make cooking good, I hope that feel better soon. many wishes..

  7. Charles says:

    I have been worried about you since Little Rock when you didn’t seem to feel well. I’m so glad to hear that everything is okay. You will be fine in no time. We love 30-minute meals and can’t wait for more! Have the happiest of holidays
    Peace to you and yours!

  8. Tania ~_~ says:

    Hey Rach!

    This is the first I hear about the rumors… I’m glad I hadn’t because I’d be really worried, although I really don’t believe what I hear or read unless it comes from the source or the horse lol! I hope all goes well with your surgery, which I’m sure it WILL!!!! I can’t wait to hear your new voice! Although I must admit…I will miss the raspiness a bit. I hope your giggle stays the same! I’m glad you’re taking care of this now, while it’s minor.
    You’re going to have one tough time keeping those lips zipped! But you can always make cue cards for John to read, and Izzy won’t need to hear your voice to understand you. Dogs are very intelligent, just give her a gesture or a hand signal and she’ll know exactly what you’re asking of her.

    Love you, love your shows…
    Take care and stay well!
    All the best to you!

    Tania ~_~
    Los Angeles, Ca.

  9. detty says:

    Hi rach,
    I`m Detty from Indonesia (Jakarta).I love your show very much, and I don`t want to miss it (may not your new one). Hope your surgery goes well.
    God bless you and your family.


  10. Bonnie says:

    Dear Rachael
    I love your shows and your magazine! Hope your surgery goes ok. I pray that you have a speedy recovery! Have a happy holiday season!!
    Your fan
    Bonnie Sherer

  11. Jeannette Hamic says:


  12. Carmen says:


    Good luck with your surgery. Hope all goes well. Love your shows and wanted to tell you that just recently I saw your Rachael’s Vacation show the Barcelona episode with John. I really enjoyed the episode. It was nice seeing John there with you. You two make a beautiful couple and compliment eachother well. Take care and good luck.

  13. Dionne Mesiona-Pepple says:

    Thanks for sharing with us. You’re such a wonderful person. I wish the best for you and your hubby. Take good care during recovery. See you in December when you’re all healed up.

  14. Rach's well wisher says:

    Dearest Rach,
    Please take care during your recovery time. My thoughts and wishes are with you.

    Manchester, NH

  15. Mary says:

    Rachael, I am glad that it is nothing serious. I love your show and you. You will be fine. Take care,

  16. Holly says:

    Dear Rachael,
    I am very glad that your doctors will be taking great care of you this holiday season. I am writing this because I was very concerned for one of your guests this week and the lack of attention that can cause life or death consquences to this young lady. The episode was on make-up for having the most flattering eyes. The guest who had “bug” eyes was told by a health professional to have her thyroid checked and your expert and you ignored that comment. Exothalmus is a indicating of hyperthyroidism (Graves diease) and can lead to heart arrtyhmias and death. A simple blood test would rule this out. I am speaking from experience. I was always the hyper bubbly type A person and with no other symptons I went into cardiac arrest and was lucky to come out of it alive and now with a new perpectiveof what healty is. I hope you can reach your guest and recommend a physical exam.
    Your Fan

  17. pam a says:

    Rachael I am so glad to hear that you are alright.
    I know what it would have been like if you would have had cancer. I lost an entire family to cancer, and I have had some tests as well.

    I also want to may god be with you though the surgery,as well as with the doctor.

    Father god I ask that you keep blessing your daughter Rachael on her show and her family. I ask that you reach down and touch her and heel her soon. In Jesus name I pray amen.

    Take care behave .

    Love always from Pam Abbott

  18. emily says:

    wow i hope your surgery goes well.i hope your voice doesnt change though!i love it,its unique.but oh well,will pray for you rachel.


  19. julie mohrman says:

    Hi Rachael

    It’s funny the other day I told my husband I have to e-mail you about your voice always being hoarse. I had the same thing, a hoarse voice all the time so I thought we had the same thing. I had nodules on my vocal cords. In fact the big joke was that I had “Nachos” and since I am such a blabber mouth the other joke was that I couldn’t be quiet for the time i was told. Well it was our annual 4th of July party, it was a little hard to be quiet. But seriously, I was told that it is worse to whisper that to talk at all. So really rest your voice like they say. I am so glad you had this looked into and now you’ll get it done and over with. I love your show and all your other cooking shows too. I even have a friend who whenever she had us over makes something of yours and I tease and call her Rachael all the time. Good luck with your surgery. GEt some good popsicles or some good sno cones. Best Wishes Julie Mohrman St. Louis, Mo.

  20. Agnes says:

    Hi Rachael,

    My thoughts and prayers for you on your upcoming surgery,I am sure you will do well,you are the sweetest young lady,happy to have had the chance to meet you and talk with you on three of your visits to Phoenix Az,you did remember me on your last book signing.(Aggie)
    I love your daily show as well as your Food channel show,you have just a wonderful presence .
    You being Sicilian which I am also,makes me wish you the best.
    You have a wonderful husband and mother who will give the best of care with your recovery.
    God Bless You.
    Love ya,Aggie

  21. Donna Fowler says:

    I tape your shows and watch when I can, get your magazine, and cook books.
    Glad to hear you’re in good health. You are a special
    lady. Love your show and all you do for us fansand fans pets. I have watched you from the very start and watched you grow. God’s speed in recovery and come back to your fans with a new healthy voice.
    Did you go to Mariah’s Halloween party? Loved your costume with “monkey man”. John is not only handsome but very lucky to have you. Love you Donna

  22. Jules says:

    Hi Rach,
    I live in Ireland & watch your show every day…..we are a couple of months behind, but i dont mind, its totally worth the wait.
    Anyhoo, just wanted to wish you well on your minor surgery & God willing, a speedy recovery!
    Le grá (with love – in irish)

  23. Carmella Moore-Devine says:

    You are in my prayers and thoughts for a speedy and complete recovery. Have a blessed Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season. God bless you and your family.

  24. Brodie says:

    Hi Rachael

    This comes to you all the way from Down Under. Christmas in Oz is always stinking hot, especially in Queensland, where I’m from. So ti’s usually cold seafood, salads and cold meats…and icy cold beers.

    Just wanted to wish you all the best, you’re a trouper you’ll be sweet as pal. I love your show and I cook pretty much the same way as you do (although I usually have a glass of wine whilst I cook!!), throw it in and see what comes out….no complaints so far!!

    Wishing you a very safe surgery and a cracker of a christmas break.








  26. Denise says:

    I just had fusion surgrey 3 months ago on my L5.
    It was a long recovery thats still not over. You r so full of life u’ll snap right back! The only problem ur gonna have is keepin ur trap shut to heal when the family all gets together for the holidays. LOL, LOL LOL!!


  27. Joanie says:

    Oh Rachael,
    You are just a gem. You will be in my prayers for a quick recovery. BTW, I love your voice and I know that however your voice turns out, it will be music to my ears. Thanks for setting everyone straight about not making light about cancer. I had two cancers, and one bone marrow transplant (you would never know by looking at me!), and you have been a source of light for me during the most darkest days of my life (you and God!).
    I even came to see you at your NY studio, but I didn’t make the cut off. I’m so sorry! You are such an inspiration to me and I think God’s light shines on you. Rest up sweetie! xoxo Joanie

  28. Joanie Yepez says:

    Love you Rachael! {{{{{hugs to you, your mom, JOhn, and boo}}}}

  29. juli says:

    Hi Rachael. Hope the surgery goes well. Just to let you know. I’m a speech pathologist that works with folk with voice problems all the time. Usually nodules/cysts are caused by vocal abuse AND acid reflux. I don’t know if the docs prescribed an acid reducer for you, but if not, I would at least begin a regimen of OTC Prilosec. It will make your recovery that much faster and hopefully reduce the likelihood that the nodules will return. Best to you! -J

  30. Alyssa says:

    It is good to hear that you do not have throat cancer…as a cancer survivor myself…you never wish that kind of stress on anyone else! My family will pray for a safe surgery and kick recovery!

  31. Tiffany says:

    Hey Girl,

    You should use you time off to learn sign language it is a great way to communicate with others without using your voice and it is easy to learn the basics!!!

    Good Luck and Happy Thoughts, Tiffany

  32. Charles says:

    I’m glad that you are okay Rachael!!! I think that your voice is super sexxy. I love all of your shows and i TIVO them all!!! I’m watching you and Whoopi right now! You are the hottest cook that i have ever seen and i will be praying for you always.♥♥♥

    Your Fan,

  33. April Tyler says:

    I watch your show everyday. I would try to practice more cooking, but my oven is so small it can only fit a 10 pound turkey, and that is it! On another note, I love your voice and I don’t think you should change that. It is what makes you unique! If it doesn’t hurt you in any way, then why go through this? I hope you do well. I hated to cook, until I watched your show, even before you had a talk show! I’m still trying to learn at the age 25, because I have two kids that I oneday hope to teach to cook. Love you and hope you and your family have a Happy Hoilday!!!!!

  34. Linda Gonzalez says:

    Hi Rachel:

    I’m so glad to hear that you will be OK. 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 so it doesn’t happen to you again. The breathing only took me one session to learn. It was a piece of cake. You are very strong and an 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!


  35. Julie Cabler says:

    Hey Rach!

    This is so funny. The day you announced your throat surgery, I had just come home from having that VERY SAME surgery, and was recovering. I want to let you know that instead of the rod used to view your throat, my doctor used a tiny little camera that was threaded through my nostril and into my throat (quite painless, BTW.)

    Just want you to know that the Voice Silence is even harder than you imagine…at least for me, it was. I advise you to eat lots of warm soups (not spicy ones, woman!) And lots of cool fruits and yogurts and ice creams…these will sooth your throat while you are healing. And lots and lots of water!

    Also, I want to be straight with you. My husband says I “sound like Rachael Ray” now. But it’s a whole lot better than how I sounded before! I pray that your surgery goes as well. I’ll be rooting for you!

    Julie Cabler

  36. Karen says:

    Hey Rach,

    It’s sad that the tabloids have to publish things that aren’t true. I’m thankful that it’s not cancer, and that you have a great doctor! I’m praying that all goes well, and that you’ll be able to follow doctor’s orders for 2 weeks….no talking. :) Rest up and and heal quick!

    I appreciate all you do. You have inspired me, and I’m starting to try some cooking now. My mom and I enjoy hangin’ out together and watching your show. Keep up the good work! We love you!


  37. peggy says:

    Dear Rach,

    Sorry to hear about your lump. Glad that it’s not cancer. Just wonder if your gonna be off work for awhile? I’m gonna miss ya DEARLY if you are…..Please get well soon. And your voice is not gonna be the same to me. I love it the was it is. You a inspire me on a daily basis. Happy holidays

  38. Kelli says:

    I am so happy to hear that you don’t have cancer!
    i am so sorry that you have to have surgery!
    i wish you MUCH luck!!
    I love your show!!!

  39. Cynthia says:

    Hey Rach, I’ve had the surgery you going to have,12 years ago, except for really upsetting my 19 month old it was wondering. I was working for a telephone company at the time and talked 8 hours a day, my voice always was leaving me whenever it felt lik it. I must admit your vocal cords look prettier than mine did and I went through the vocal training as well. It is scary but it is really good. The hardest part was I could not talk, not even whisper for 30 days which, I might add, my girls-21, 17 and 12 year old-thought would be wonderful but they even decided it was way to quiet after a short period of time. I love your show and record it every day since I work, if my VCR ever breaks I will lose you but untill then you have gotten me thru cancer treatment, unemployment and, this week, emergency dental surgery. I love all the food you make, although I have to change them a little, since chemo, spices and I don’t get along much but I try to cook the way you do, and eat what I can with the few teeth I have left(can’t afford the whole dental thing) but I keep pluggin along. Your vocal thing will be fine and from the expression on your face you feel about the way I did when I had it done. Trust me it is wonderul and the end results is the best, no more lost scrachy voice. The only thing I would have changed is preparing my 19 month old a little better-we ended up in counseling cuz he could not understand why Mommy would not talk to him, so explain to to Izzabo and all will be fine. Happy Holidays and rest, at least, the day after the surgery.CSV

  40. Ed says:

    Dear Rach,
    A word to the wise. I had throat surgery to correct structural problems in my throat and sinuses that contributed to sleep apnea. This was in May of last year. Post operatively, I developed a “strangled sounding voice” sometimes to the point of speechlessness. This was diagnosed as a contact ulcer of the vocal chord. Later, after things got no better, I was diagnosed as having a speech disorder called spasmodic dysphonia by Dr. Mark Coury of UCSF. These are spasms of the vocal chord(s). I have been told this is a permanent condition.
    I do think that poor voice use and vocal habits can contribute the above and the formation nodules and cysts in the throat. Kind of like untrained Rock singers singing off the throat and creating nodules. Good luck and do your homework on the procedure and risks.
    Cheers, Ed

  41. Michele S. says:

    HI Rach!!! I just absolutely love you and your energy and recipes!!!
    I am so glad to hear you are picture perfect health.
    Quick question, all those reports about you drinking Wu-Yi Tea, are they true? Did you really loose weight drinking the tea? I think you never needed to loose weight, but I saw reports and wanted to ask you. I just bought the tea and wanted to know what I could expect.
    Thank you in advance for your time!!!
    Love you and maybe you’ll make your way to MN!!!
    Warmest Always,
    Michele S.

  42. Les Wilson says:

    I hope you get this comment. Doctors are great and all so necessary, but we must be accountable for ourselves. Research your condition and others who had or have the same thing. God didn’t plan for us to be cut on or experimented on. Being Italian+, I know you have faith in God and Jesus died on the cross to free us all inquities, sicknesses, hardships and more. Just research, it can’t hurt to find out more. I did and my heart failure has reversed itself and the doctor had told me that I would be challenged for life. Guess who’s eating crow. God, Jesus and self before the knife. Whatever happens I wish you the best and I hope to hear you for years to come. Thank you.

  43. Tracy Burnette says:


    I love your show and I have it on tivo. I had to go to work due to the economy and I heard about the surgery. You’ll be just fine and know that we in TV land are thinking and praying for you and a quick recovery. You’ll be missed so get well soon because I’ll have withdrawals without seeing your show daily.

    I want you also to know that I love the info segments you have in the back kitchen right before you go to commercial. I have learned a lot from them.

    GET WELL SOON!!!!!

    Tracy Burnette
    Knoxville, Tennessee

  44. Dear Rachel,

    I had vocal cord surgery for 2 cysts 2 years ago. I went to Boston so if you need a second opinion, they have a great institute for voice surgery and rehabilitation. My surgery went very smoothly but it is very hard not to talk for 2 weeks. But, it allows the cords to heal. I liken it to a small cut on the knuckle. The more you bend it, the slower it heals. So, if you don’t use the vocal cords, it will heal. I used a white board to communicate and used a marker that had an eraser on the other end so that I could write, erase and keep writing. I had a sign on the back of the white board that stated that I had surgery on my throat, cannot talk, sorry. People were so kind to me. I did talk 2 times but that was all. Everyone said that my husband must have loved my not being able to talk but he had to talk 2 times as much as usual since he had to tell others about my surgery and answer my questions. My son hated the 2 weeks. I hope all goes well. You have a soul sister here in State College, Pa.
    Anne Fredericks

  45. Janetb says:

    Dear Rachel,
    Your voice is music to our ears. My family is glad that you’re proactive in your healthcare. Thank you for sharing this information…Love and prayers, the Berrys – dog lovers & rescuers, fans…& grew up with a camp in Old Forge….love the Adirondacks.

  46. raihan says:

    and be my rach blessed in every spot..in every station n in every lot..long may she lives with sweet contentment here..for ever cherished n forever dear

  47. Angie says:

    Hey Rach,
    I had the same surgey couple years back to remove the nodules off my vocal cords. All went well and praying for you. But just to let you know they can grow back and also from after recovery I still loose my voice just from talking to long.
    Best of Luck G

  48. Kimberly Walsh says:

    Geesh,it took me a while to get here as I am the 443rd person to leave you a note….hahaha. Pretty popular lady…hahaha.

    I just wanted to wish you well, as your surgery nears. Good luck and get well quickly!

    I would like to take this opportunity to Thank you for entertaining me and providing me with WONDERFUL meals to prepare for my family and friends.

    You have cured my many ailments(grey hair, stress and more grey hair) associated to the decision making of dinner.

    Thanks again. Take care.

  49. alice charles says:

    dear rachael, good luck everything will b alright i had simmlar surgery abuot 9yrs ago my oldest son gave me his oldest sons small ech a schech and i also love to talk but for two weeks thats what i used

  50. Harriet says:

    Hi Rachael,
    We have watched your shows on the Food Network since
    they began and also watch your talk show. We love you. I have all your cookbooks and also make up recipes like you do. Thanks for teaching those who think they cannot cook. I agree,everyone can.
    We are glad that you are healthy and having the surgery. Between using your hands and writing down
    everything,your recovery time will go fast. You have
    a great sense of humor and a great family and millions of fans who will help you get by during that
    time. Have a great Holiday Season and take all the time you need to recover…we will all wait for you
    and will keep you in our prayers.
    Harriet Hausbach

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