Today co-anchor Sheinelle Jones will be absent from the 3rd Hour of Today for six weeks after announcing Thursday that she will undergo vocal surgery next week that will leave her voiceless for two weeks. The surgery is to remove a polyp on her vocal cord, which doctors first discovered years ago.
"It's been a long time coming," Jones told her co-hosts on the air, explaining that she was first alerted to the issue by a Today producer in 2016, who noticed that she kept clearing her throat before reading the news on Weekend Today.
After being encouraged to visit an ear, nose and throat doctor, it was discovered that Jones had a polyp on one of her vocal cords. Although the polyp went away, Jones said that it has still caused issues, and she had been going to "vocal therapy twice a week" before discovering in 2019 that the polyp had returned.
Jones added that the polyp has had a major affect on her life, causing her to turn down public speaking engagements, skip brunches with her friends as "the champagne [in mimosas] makes me lose my voice," and has even resulted in her waking up 30 minutes earlier than normal to do vocal exercises.
Following the procedure, Jones said that she will be unable to talk for two weeks.
"Two weeks specifically of no talking," she said. "That means no whispering, trying not to clear my voice, no exercising. They just want me to kind of sit still."
Jones added that while she will be unable to speak for two weeks, she will be absent from Today for a total of six weeks.
"You know, as much as we talk about self-care on this show, if that producer didn't tell me, 'Sheinelle you should probably go to an ENT,' I probably would've put up with it for a lot longer,'" she said. "I thought you could just drink some tea with honey and it would get better."0comments
"I had no idea it’s a whole separate part of your anatomy. But if you feel like you're hoarse for an extended period of time, or you're constantly losing your voice, or it's raspy and it hasn't always been so raspy, just go get it checked out," she continued. "And also, speech therapy…it makes the biggest difference."
Jones' last day will be Friday, Feb. 21. She will return to her co-hosting duties in early April.