Voice Consultation and Examination

What is the difference at Center for Vocal Health?

These days, it is not as hard as it used to be to get a picture of your vocal cords.

Though the vocal cords are hidden inside the throat, cameras and endoscopes have evolved to permit most doctors to examine the vocal cords.

You can use the following as a sort of “checklist” to determine if you have found the right doctor to care for your voice. Here are some of the key features that make Center for Vocal Health the only option for vocal athletes.

Training

Our doctor is a fellowship-trained laryngologist. Not an ENT. Not an otolaryngologist.

Dr. Reena Gupta trained in ENT (a/k/a otolaryngology) and then did an extra year of training in Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice. She has the highest level of training available in voice medicine and surgery.

Laryngology fellowship spots are competitive; doing a fellowship means committing another year to training and committing your brain, your heart, and your practice to the exclusive practice of voice medicine.

Exam type

Scope in the nose or scope in the mouth? Believe it or not, it matters. A nasal scope is often used by general ENTs. This scope has lower resolution and illumination and is rarely coupled with stroboscopy (see below, in brief, the technology required to see vocal fold vibration). Transoral (through the mouth) stroboscopy is the standard of care and is done on every patient seen at CVH for a voice concern.

Recording

When we examine you, we take a high-definition video of your entire exam. This allows you to view your vocal cords and understand your condition better. It also helps to compare your videos during follow ups, to ensure the treatments are working.

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Stroboscopy

Stroboscopy or straight light? Both types of light let you see the vocal cords but only stroboscopy works to ensure vocal fold vibration is seen. Why does this matter? It’s like going to the eye doctor and confirming your pupils react to light and your eye muscles work but not checking vision! Stroboscopy tests the function of the vocal cords, not just what they look like. A straight light (used by ENTs) cannot detect vocal fold vibration and so it cannot pick up the reason for voice disturbances and issues.

Interpretation

At the end of the day, the data is only as good as the person looking at it and interpreting it. Dr. Gupta has been interpreting voice disorders utilizing stroboscopy for over a decade. It is her passion and her focus. Often used for second opinions, Dr. Gupta has found numerous issues when stroboscopy is misinterpreted. The findings on the exam must be tied to the patient’s voice and their story, or else there is a risk of overtreating a vocal cord examination. This can result in unnecessary surgery or missed diagnoses.

Approach

It is not acceptable to have an ENT pass a scope through your nose, view it with their eye only, commit it to memory, and describe what they saw to you.

It is this vague, inadequate exam that often results in patient disempowerment and failure to improve. A rigid scope passed through the mouth is quick, painless, and far more detailed to evaluate the vocal cords.

Resolution

Fiberoptic, standard definition or high-definition? All three technologies exist in the ENT space.

We use high-definition cameras, the most cutting-edge digital imaging available in laryngology to view your vocal cords, ensuring no detail is missed.

Experience

The most important features of Center for Vocal Health are expertise and experience.

We don’t settle on easy answers, quick fixes with surgery, or pushing medications. We dig deep for the right answer to help you find your best voice. Sometimes this means your answer is just one visit away. Other times, Dr. Gupta will consult with trusted colleagues in laryngology or other fields, leveraging a vast community of vetted experts to help you in your voice care. In over a decade of caring for professional vocal athletes, Dr Gupta has succeeded in bringing some of the most well-known and respected voices back to the stage, studio, and recording booth.