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Comprehensive Evaluations of Voice Problems

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At the UPMC Voice Center, we use state-of the-art technology to diagnose and treat all types of voice problems.

Our experts can perform the following tests to see if you require treatment to correct your voice disorder.

Laryngoscopy

For a more detailed view of the vocal folds, your doctor may want to perform a laryngoscopy using a flexible or rigid laryngoscope. The laryngoscope is a thin instrument connected to a camera.

During laryngoscopy, your doctor at the Voice Center will:
  • Thread the laryngoscope through the nose or mouth.
  • Drop it down the back of the throat.
  • Obtain close-up images of your voice box and vocal folds.

Tracheotomy Decannulation Evaluation

This test is for people seeking opinions about the need for tracheotomy tubes and the options for removing them.

Laryngeal Electromyography (LEMG)

LEMG is a diagnostic nerve test of the larynx. It lets your doctor see how the nerves and muscles of the larynx connect and function. It often helps in planning treatment for people who have vocal fold paralysis.

During LEMG, your doctor at the Voice Center will place a special recording needle in one of the muscles of the larynx to measure the electrical signal from the brain and nerves to the vocal cords. The test is painless, but you may feel an uncomfortable pressure.

This test may also provide useful information about the potential for spontaneous recovery of vocal fold motion in the setting of vocal fold paralysis.

Bronchoscopy

This test lets your doctor look at your airway while you're awake.

Doctors perform this dynamic upper airway test to help diagnose certain types of breathing problems of the trachea (windpipe).

Transnasal Esophagoscopy (TNE)

Doctors use a thin endoscope with a camera on it to see the inside of the esophagus and look for any problems, such as:

  • Acid reflux disease
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Dysphagia (trouble swallowing)

Most people handle this awake, outpatient procedure without sedation.

Vocal Performance Assessment

This assessment allows our staff to evaluate vocal function — including pitch range, loudness range, and voice quality measures — for later use as baseline measures.

Following vocal training, doctors can review the data to measure improvement or assess the recovery of vocal function after injury.

Voice Evaluation

Voice evaluation is an assessment of the techniques and patterns of vocal use.

We also offer special evaluations of voice problems associated with aging.

Voice Recording and Analysis

Recording and analysis measures the voice's acoustic parameters and breathing dynamics.

It also measures the voice signal with respect to:

  • Pitch
  • Loudness
  • Quality
  • Variability

Make an Appointment at the Voice Center

To make an appointment or learn more about any of our services, contact the UPMC Voice Center at 412-232-SING (7464).

Learn More About Tests for Voice Problems

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From UPMC's HealthBeat Blog:

From the Voice Foundation:

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