​Overview of the Voice Clinic

The Voice Clinic at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi helps patients suffering from a range of voice and swallowing disorders. Symptoms​ can include hoarseness, discomfort, whisper or roughness. Determining the exact cause of voice and swallowing disorders is important to ensure the correct treatment and preservation of your voice, and they should always be evaluated by specialists. 

We offer the first integrated Voice Clinic in the UAE, with our multidisciplinary team led by a specialized voice otolaryngologist and speech pathologist, who work together to diagnose and treat a variety of voice and swallowing disorders. From physical examinations to high-resolution endoscopy, our team will work to diagnose your voice or swallowing disorder. While many issues can be resolved through medical or lifestyle changes, if surgery is required, we offer the very latest techniques to minimize damage and restore your voice. 

What we treat

The Voice Clinic treats patients with the following conditions:

  • Airway reconstruction
  • Laryngeal disorders
  • Larynx cancer
  • Throat lesions​
  • Dysphonia and dysphagia
  • Professional voice care
  • Spasmodic dysphonia
  • Speech problems
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Throat obstruction
  • Throat problems and discomfort
  • Throat ulcers
  • Tracheostomy management
  • Vocal cord cancer
  • Vocal cord diseases
  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Vocal cord polyps and nodules
  • Vocal dysfunction and fatigue
  • Voice disorders and disturbances
  • Voice loss and voice problems

Diagnosis & Treatment 

Diagnosis

An accurate diagnosis of the cause of a voice or swallowing disorder is essential for successful treatment. The team will ask detailed questions and examine you thoroughly. Diagnostic tests might include:

  • High resolution stroboscopy: A long, thin tube with a camera, connected to a flashing light source which synchronizes with the voice, is inserted from the nose or the mouth, so doctors can view the larynx and the vocal fold vibration with great accuracy.
  • Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES):During FEES, a thin, flexible scope with a camera is inserted via the nose. With the camera in place, the patient swallows various food items mixed with food coloring so a doctor observe and evaluate the pharyngeal phase of the swallow, the level of the secretions and the risk of aspiration.
  • Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study (Modified Barium Swallow Study):A non-invasive X-ray procedure used to examine the oral, pharyngeal and upper esophageal phase of the swallowing, and the risk of aspiration in an objective, dynamic way. During this study the patient swallows barium mixed with food while seated in a chair.
  • Anacoustic analysis of the voice will be performed using sophisticated electronic systems (computer analysis) in order to objectively assess the voice range and the characteristics of the voice.

Treatment

Treatment will depend on the diagnosis of your voice or swallowing disorder. One or more of the following may be recommended:

In-office procedures:

  • KTP ablation: A laser therapy that can treat lesions of the vocal cords. It allows for very precise treatment of the lesions on the larynx whilst preserving healthy tissue.
  • Vocal fold injection: A filler substance is injected into the muscle of a paralyzed vocal fold to ‘bulk’ it up and help them to close properly again, or to prevent food from entering the windpipe.
  • Biopsy:A flexible laryngoscope is inserted and long, thin instruments are passed through its working channel to take samples of the vocal cords or nearby parts of the throat for further examination.

Surgical procedures:

  • Phonomicrosurgery:A specialist surgeon uses microsurgical techniques and very fine instruments or laser beam to treat abnormalities of the vocal fold.
  • CO2 laser microsurgery: For the microscopic removal of bulky and malignant tumors and restoration of the airway.
  • Photoablative laser microsurgery (KTP – TruBlue laser): For the microscopic removal of vascular tumors and papillomas.
  • Medialization thyroplasty: For restoration of the voice after permanent paralysis of the larynx.
  • Open neck surgery:For the removal of benign or malignant tumors of the larynx.
  • Airway reconstruction:To open a blocked airway after trauma or paralysis of the larynx.

Speech Therapy:

A Specialized Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) will perform a detailed clinical evaluation of the voice and/or swallowing and will determine the need for an objective instrumental evaluation. Based on the findings of the assessment, the SLP will create a personalized treatment plan based on the needs of the patient. 

  • Voice therapy: Concentrates on improving a patient’s voice to a level of function that enables them to fulfil daily voice and/or speech communication needs. Voice therapy can include:

    • Learning how the voice works and how it can be injured
    • Vocal hygiene (a program of daily voice care)
    • Vocal and/or respiratory exercises
  • Swallowing Therapy: Focuses on strengthening and improving the coordination of the muscles involved in the process of swallowing. Additionally, it may involve diet modification, safe swallow and other compensatory strategies that can facilitate swallow and improve a patient’s quality of life.

​Voice Clinic Caregivers

The Voice Clinic at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is a multidisciplinary collaboration of skilled caregivers from across several specialities, including: 

  • Laryngologist 
  • Voice Speech Language Pathologist 
  • Specialist nurses 

VIEW ALL DOCTORS WHO CAN HELP WITH Voice Clinic

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