Why choose Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Appointments

Mayo Clinic accepts appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System sites.

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  • Team approach.The treatment team for voice disorders at Mayo Clinic is usually led by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor experienced in voice problems. He or she consults as needed with other specialists to develop a treatment plan that's right for you.
  • Expert resources. Your treatment team also includes Ph.D.- and master's-level speech-language pathologists who specialize in evaluating and treating voice disorders.
  • Experience. Mayo Clinic specialists are experienced in treating all types of voice disorders. They have particular expertise in the microscopic removal of lesions on the vocal cords and in treating vocal cord paralysis.
  • State-of-the-art technology. Mayo Clinic uses the latest technology to accurately diagnose and treat voice disorders, including in-office potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) laser treatment — a relatively new technology available at only a few places in the United States. KTP laser therapy can allow the removal of vocal cord lesions while preserving the maximum amount of underlying tissue.
  • Efficient care. At Mayo Clinic, your appointments are coordinated, so you usually can complete your testing and treatment within a few days.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for ear, nose and throat by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked high performing for ear, nose and throat by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic: Answers you can trust

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

About

Your voice box (larynx) is made of cartilage, muscle and mucous membranes located at the top of your windpipe (trachea) and the base of your tongue. Sound is created when your vocal cords vibrate. This vibration comes from air moving through the larynx, bringing your vocal cords closer together. Your vocal cords also help close your voice box when you swallow, preventing you from inhaling food or liquid.

If your vocal cords become inflamed, develop growths or become paralyzed, they can't work properly, and you may develop a voice disorder.

Some common voice disorders include:

  • Laryngitis
  • Neurological voice disorders (spasmodic dysphonia, pronounced spaz-MOD-ik dis-FO-ne-uh)
  • Polyps, nodules or cysts on the vocal cords (noncancerous lesions)
  • Precancerous and cancerous lesions
  • Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (pap-ih-loe-muh-TOE-sis)
  • Vocal cord paralysis or weakness
  • White patches (leukoplakia, pronounced loo-ko-PLAY-key-uh)

Many factors can contribute to a voice disorder, including:

  • Aging
  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Illnesses, such as colds or upper respiratory infections
  • Improper throat clearing over a long time
  • Neurological disorders
  • Psychological stress
  • Scarring from neck surgery or from trauma to the front of the neck
  • Smoking
  • Throat dehydration
  • Thyroid problems
  • Voice misuse or overuse
Nov. 20, 2012