Voice, Airway and Swallowing Center


Center for Voice, Airway and Swallowing

Professional Voice Users

You might be surprised at who is considered a “professional voice user.” Not just pop stars and opera singers – it’s anyone whose job involves use of their voice. Teachers, lawyers, ministers – all are professional voice users who depend on their voice to make a living!

The Voice, Airway and Swallowing Center is a specialized multidisciplinary center including the expertise of specialists from almost a dozen medical specialties. Home to the regions only subspecialty fellowship-trained laryngologists, the center is dedicated to providing outstanding medical and surgical care for adult patients with voice, airway, or swallowing disorders.

By concentrating this diverse group of specialists and nationally-recognized experts, the Center is able to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic tests and procedures including advanced techniques such as high-resolution manometry, laryngeal myography, endoscopic and open airway surgery, and a wide variety of in-office surgical endoscopic procedures.

Don't let voice or swallowing problems undermine your health or limit you.
Call Voice, Airway and Swallowing Center at 706-721-4400 for more information
or schedule an appointment online at augustahealth.org/appointment.

Voice Center

The Voice Center is a collaborative multidisciplinary center comprising two fellowship trained laryngologists along with several speech-language pathologists, neurologists and gastroenterologists. Our center is dedicated to providing the finest in diagnostic and treatment options for any voice disorder.

The human voice box is a remarkably designed instrument. Changes in the voice affect our social and professional lives in tremendous ways and can be an overall barometer of our general health. Voice disorders are usually manifested by:

    • Any kind of hoarseness
    • Loss of range
    • Pitch changes
    • Breathiness
    • Vocal fatigue.   

We treat both amateur and professional singers as well as clergy, teachers, and other  professional voice users.

Conditions

Conditions that are often treated at our center include:

    • Polyps, nodules or cysts
    • Acute and chronic laryngitis
    • Granulomas
    • Laryngeal papillomas
    • Vocal fold paralysis or weakness
    • Vocal fold atrophy
    • Spasmodic dysphonia
    • Muscle tension dysphonia
    • Parkinson’s disease and other central neurologic disorders
    • Acid reflux
    • Laryngeal cancer
    • Vocal fold scarring
    • Chronic cough

Our center offers state of the art diagnostic modalities including laryngovideostroboscopy, acoustic voice analysis, pH testing and laryngeal electromyography.

Treatment

Our treatment options include laryngeal microsurgery, external phonosurgery, injection augmentation of the larynx, botox injections of the larynx, as well as an array of in-office laryngeal voice procedures which has proven revolutionary in the care of many of our patients.

Airway Center

“When you can’t breathe well… nothing else matters. Thanks to the surgeons at Augusta University, I can breathe without a trach and I have my life back!”

Airway disorders are also evaluated and managed in a collaborative fashion with our laryngeal surgeons as well as thoracic and gastrointestinal surgeons as well. Airway disorders are manifested in many ways but most commonly in shortness of breath with exertion. This often is seen following endotracheal intubation or following tracheotomy. Various disease processors can also cause this. We perform in-office tracheobronchoscopy as well as pulmonary function testing to help us determine the cause of the breathing problem. Airway disorders are also a large part of the research mission of our center.

Treatment

We offer a full range of surgical treatment(s) for airway narrowing at the level of the vocal cords or below. This includes endoscopic treatment of airway stenosis using various types of lasers and dilation techniques as well as complex open surgical reconstruction such as tracheal resection and airway reconstruction with cartilage and muscle flaps.

Swallowing Center

What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia is not a diagnosis but is a symptom of a change in swallowing or a sensation of difficulty swallowing. It is estimated that one out of twenty-five individuals have a swallowing disorder in the United States.

Swallowing disorders can reveal themselves in many ways.
These include:

    • Increase in time to eat
    • Recurrent pneumonia
    • Weight loss from dehydration
    • Coughing during or after eating or drinking
    • Wet sounding voice

There are several causes of swallowing disorders and these include:

    • Advancing age
    • Stroke
    • Acid reflux
    • Neurologic injury
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Head and Neck Cancer
    • Esophageal infection, inflammation, or scar tissue

Our center offers state of the art diagnostic testing including modified barium swallow examinations, performed with a speech-language pathologist and radiologist as well as flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing in which the patient eats while we examine him/her endoscopically in the office and high resolution esophageal and pharyngeal manometry.

The center has a full array of behavioral and exercise treatments for swallowing disorders as well as pharmacological treatments and of course surgery. Surgery includes both esophageal dilation, botox as well as advanced dilation and reconstructive surgical techniques.