Professional Voice Care: Conditions We Treat
We treat any voice problems that voice professionals experience, such as:
Diagnosing Voice Problems
At UT Southwestern, our professional voice care team begins with a thorough evaluation that includes a:
- Physical exam, with an inspection of the vocal cords
- Review of personal and family medical history
- Discussion of symptoms and occupation
To examine the vocal cords, we often use a videostroboscope, which is a telescope-like camera with a flashing light that provides a magnified, slow-motion view of the vocal cords as they vibrate.
In the procedure, we place the videostroboscope on the tongue or pass a flexible version through the nose. The scope shines a strobe light on the vocal cords while the patient makes sounds.
The recorded exam, which we review with each patient, provides specific details about the vocal cord vibratory pattern. It also allows the laryngologist and speech-language pathologist to observe specific abnormalities of the vocal cords.
Depending on the results of our evaluation and videostroboscopy, we sometimes use additional tests, such as:
- Laryngeal electromyography (EMG): Small needles inserted through the skin to measure electric currents in voice box muscles
- Sound (acoustic) analysis: Computer analysis that measures irregularities in the sounds produced by the vocal cords
Professional Voice Care: Services We Offer
After our evaluation, our team works together to develop a treatment plan for comprehensive care of the singing or speaking voice. At the Voice Center, we offer:
- Behavioral intervention, such as voice therapy, with our speech-language pathology team and singing-voice specialists
- Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections for tremor and spasmodic dysphonia
- Surgery for spasmodic dysphonia
- In-office pulsed KTP laser treatments for various vocal cord diseases
- In-office vocal cord injections
- Laryngeal electromyography (EMG) during laryngeal botulinum toxin injections
- Microsurgery of the vocal cords
- Software-based voice analysis
- Thyroplasty, arytenoid adduction, vocal cord augmentation, and reinnervation for vocal cord paralysis or weakness
Our team provides well visits for singers and performers for an affordable fee (not covered by health insurance). These visits include a perceptual and objective evaluation of the speaking and singing voice and a videostroboscopy to examine the vocal folds.