The throat is a complex anatomic area necessary for swallowing, breathing, and talking. Problems with the throat can affect a patient’s quality of life, and, at times, cause serious health problems.
Patients usually seek specialist care when their tonsils are chronically infected or abnormally enlarged. Infected tonsils can cause sore throat, bad breath, and difficulty swallowing. Enlarged tonsils, especially in children, can cause sleep disordered breathing and obstructive sleep apnea. Surgically removing the tonsils (tonsillectomy) is curative for both infected and enlarged tonsils.
Swallowing is a complex physiologic process that requires coordination of the muscles in the tongue, throat, and esophagus. Abnormalities of these muscles, or dysfunction of the brain’s coordinating system can have a negative impact on swallowing. Our physicians work in concert with gastroenterologists, neurologists, and speech therapists to determine the nature of swallowing disorders and the appropriate therapy for those disorders.
Any sore in the mouth that persists longer than 3 weeks should be examined by a specialist. Bumps, ulcers, or bleeding areas in the mouth can signify infection, inflammation, or even oral cancer. Our doctors are familiar with oral cavity disease and can perform biopsies when indicated.
Production of a healthy voice requires that the two vocal cords come together in the midline and a steady flow of air moves across them, causing them to vibrate. Any abnormality in this process will manifest as hoarseness. Paralysis of the vocal cords prevents them from coming together. Nodules, cysts, tumors, or swelling of the vocal cords keeps them from vibrating properly. Muscle spasm restricts air flow through the voice box. Our specialists perform in-office fiberoptic laryngoscopy to visualize the vocal cords in action. After the problem is diagnosed, appropriate therapy can be recommended. Surgical direct laryngoscopy may be necessary to remove or biopsy problematic lesions in the voice box.