Voice Disorders

The KU Voice and Swallow Center uses a systematic approach to the evaluation and treatment of a variety of voice disorders, alaryngeal voice and airway disorders.  Along with a comprehensive clinical examination and case history, instrumental examination is frequently used such as videostroboscopy.  Other commonly usedNormal Larynx assessments include:

  • Computerized acoustic analysis
  • Perceptual voice analysis by trained speech pathologist
  • Electroglottography
  • Laryngeal EMG
  • Pharyngeal pH study
  • Transnasal Esophagoscopy
  • Referrals may also be made for Esophageal pH study or manometry
  •  Esophageal insufflation to evaluate for tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP)

Once the team has clearly identified the diagnosis, the patient is provided with extensive education regarding the diagnosis and recommended treatment program.  Often images obtained with videostroboscopy are used to help the patient better understand what has caused the problem as well as the rationale for the recommended treatment.  Strong emphasis is placed on patient participation in treatment planning to improve over-all patient satisfaction and speed of recovery.

Examples of disorders more commonly observed are:

  • Benign lesions of the larynx: nodules, polyps, Reinke's edema, cysts, granuloma, papilloma, keratosis, and sulcus vocalis
  • Structural changes: larygoceles, vocal fold scarring, vocal fold hemorrhage, presbylaryngitis
  • Congenital anomalies: Stenosis, webs, laryngeal clefts, and laryngomalacia
  • Hyperfunctional disorders
  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Laryngeal trauma: fractures, scarring, post-intubation arytenoid dislocation
  • Neurogenic disorders: vocal fold paresis/paralysis, spasmodic dysphonia, voice and swallowing disorders related to Parkinson's, ALS, and other movement conditions
  • Psychogenic disorders: conversion dysphonia and puberphonia
  • Reflux laryngitis (globus pharyngeus)

Treatments may include dietary modifications, medications, surgery, in-office procedures including injections, speech pathology voice therapy, or referrals to other professionals such as vocal pedagogists.

Last modified: Jul 11, 2014
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