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Voice, Laryngeal & Esophageal Disorders Center

Loyola University Health System's Center for Voice, Laryngeal & Esophageal Disorders offers patients with voice or swallowing disorders a unique opportunity to be treated by highly specialized physicians and speech pathologists. The center offers diagnostic, nonsurgical and surgical treatment.

The work of Loyola's voice specialists has gained recognition nationally and internationally in several areas:

  • A voice videoendoscopy laboratory in which scopes are used to get a magnified view of the throat to better diagnose voice and swallowing problems.
  • Patients with laryngopharyngeal and/or esophageal reflux (stomach acid coming up into the esophagus, back of the throat or voice box) can be evaluated in the Outpatient Clinic using endoscopic techniques and thus avert a trip to the operating room. Therapy is begun after evaluation. In addition, any problems with the lower esophagus can be diagnosed and referred to a physician specializing in gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Neurologic disorders affecting the larynx (voice box) such as vocal cord paralysis are evaluated and treated by our experts who are familiar with all aspects of laryngeal rehabilitation procedures, both medical and surgical.
  • Use of transnasal (through the nose) esophagoscopy allows physicians to examine the esophagus in the office without sedation of the patient.
  • Broken blood vessels in vocal cords, a condition caused by continuous singing or speaking, are treated with pulsed laser, which leaves no scarring and does not alter the sound of the voice.

Through the center's comprehensive services, our professionals treat the special needs of patients with voice and swallowing disorders. Procedures that are performed routinely include:

  • Pulsed potassium-titanyl-phosphate (KTP) laser for scarless treatment of vascular malformations, dysplasia (an early form of cancer), papilloma (a benign tumor) and other disorders of tissues surrounding the vocal cords
  • Surgical correction of airway scarring (caused by breathing tubes or an injury to the neck) and stenosis, or narrowing of the airway
  • Conservative surgery for larynx (or voice-box) cancer, including endoscopic laser excisions and voice restorations
  • Endoscopic surgery using a laser to correct muscular disorders in the throat that cause Zenker's diverticulum and cricopharyngeus dysfunction
  • Microsurgery to repair vocal folds
  • Voice therapy with a specialized speech pathologist