Though we often take our ability to eat and speak for granted, many people have difficulty with these tasks and may experience pain, discomfort and lack of control when trying to speak. Voice and swallowing problems can develop as a result of aging, overuse, surgery, smoking or throat cancer, and may include laryngitis, spasmodic dysphonia, vocal cord paralysis, cancer of the vocal cord, benign growths and more.
Our doctors provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for a wide range of voice and swallowing disorders and are specially trained to help you restore function to your voice.
While many of these problems accompany a cold or other minor condition, some are chronic and may require special management to control or cure the condition. Patients may benefit from voice therapy, medicine or surgery, depending on their individual condition. It is also important for patients to protect their voice by practicing breathing techniques, avoiding smoking, alcohol and caffeine and by drinking plenty of water.
Digital videostroboscopy is an advanced procedure performed to analyze the motion of the vocal cord vibrations in order to identify any potential abnormalities that may be causing hoarseness, sore throat or other symptoms. These movements are invisible to the naked eye, so careful examination can provide insight into the cause of symptoms. This procedure may also be used to compare the appearance and movement of the vocal cords before and after treatment for any detected problems.
This involves inserting an endoscope with a tiny camera attached to the end through the nose or mouth and into the throat, where it is led to the vocal cords. The stroboscope technology used will capture slow-motion images of the vocal cords while the patient speaks to provide clear, informative photos of the rapidly moving structures, which can be viewed in real-time by the doctor and patient.
While most patients do not experience any pain during this procedure, you may experience a gagging sensation or the urge to swallow. A numbing spray may be applied prior to examination to minimize any potential discomfort and allow your doctor to achieve clear, uninterrupted analysis of the vocal cord movement.
After treatment, a confirmed diagnosis will be made and your doctor will develop a customized treatment plan for your individual treatment. Patients can go home immediately after this procedure with no need for recovery or downtime.
Although most commonly known for its cosmetic indications, botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, is a synthetic chemical that can be used to block nerve signals for treatment of a wide range of conditions, including voice disorders such as spasmodic dysphonia or vocal cord paralysis.
Injected directly into the vocal cords, Botox relaxes the muscles to relieve symptoms such as difficulty speaking and a tight, strained, or strangled quality to the voice. The medication weakens the vocal cord muscle to interrupt nerve signals for effective symptom relief. These results are usually only temporary, lasting approximately four months before the nerve signals return and symptoms recur.
Your doctor will determine the dosage and frequency required for your individual condition after a post-treatment follow-up appointment. Most patients achieve successful results from this treatment and are once again able to eat, speak and swallow without difficulty.
Transnasal esophagoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the esophagus in patients suffering from reflux, a condition that causes a chronic cough, throat clearing and a feeling that something is stuck in the throat as a result of abnormalities within the upper esophageal sphincter. This advanced procedure allows your doctor to evaluate the cause of your condition and develop an effective treatment plan for each individual patient.
During the transnasal esophagoscopy procedure, the nose is first numbed with a local anesthetic before the endoscope is inserted into the nose and fed to the throat. Your doctor can examine the throat and voice box in real-time, including detecting any changes when swallowing. The endoscope will then be advanced into the esophagus and stomach, if necessary, for further examination.
The entire procedure takes just 15 minutes to perform. Patients will be able to drive themselves home after this exam and can return to work and other normal activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which is usually right away. Your doctor will discuss the results of this procedure with you in order to determine the ideal treatment approach for your individual condition.