With more than two decades of clinical and research experience, the UCLA Voice Center for Medicine and the Arts is a unique, national resource for all diseases affecting the voice. The Voice Center consists of a multidisciplinary team of experts (laryngologists, voice scientists, speech pathologists, and voice teachers) who work closely with referring physicians to optimize voice function tailored to the individual needs of the patient. Many individuals who suffered from poor or lost voice have returned to normal, productive speaking lives through treatments offered at the center. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has been ranked among the top hospitals in the Nation and "Best in the West" for 22 consecutive years. The UCLA Department of Head and Neck Surgery and its Voice Center for Medicine and the Arts have also consistently ranked as the leading center in the nation.
Missions of the Voice Center
The central mission of the Voice Center is to provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art evaluation and management of voice disorders. We are unique in our approach to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of voice disorders in that the techniques are based upon over two decades of world-class voice research done right here at UCLA. The Voice Center was established by Dr. Gerald S. Berke, who is an international authority on the physiology of the larynx. The Laryngeal Physiology Laboratory, Laryngeal Dynamics Laboratory, and the Voice Perception Laboratory are affiliated with the Voice Center and have played central roles in advancing scientific knowledge of how the larynx works and how voice is perceived, and in the development of novel treatments for voice disorders, such as surgery for spasmodic dysphonia (video), vocal cord paralysis, and airway stenosis.
The Voice Center is a clinical resource for patients with any type of voice problem, ranging from common benign disorders such as vocal nodules, polyps, and papillomas, to more complex disorders such as spasmodic dysphonia, airway stenosis, and laryngeal cancer. The center is at the forefront of implementing the latest developments in clinical and basic voice research and technology, including the use of in-office laser therapy, digital video endoscopes and minimally invasive approaches to a range of complex disorders of the larynx and trachea, from vocal cord paralysis to cancer of the larynx.
Research and Education
The Voice Center is in an academic setting, and research and education are important goals. It is at the forefront of clinical research that is enabling future medical breakthroughs. Basic science research performed at the center is helping the national medical community understand the causes of voice disorders and assess the effectiveness of new treatments. In the past two decades, the Voice Center and its laryngeal laboratories have received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and nationwide acclaim. Researchers and clinicians have presented key papers and hold prominent positions in academic societies.
The Voice Center provides training opportunities for future otolaryngologists and laryngologists. UCLA otolaryngology residents rotate through the Voice Center and obtain valuable clinical skills in the diagnosis and management of voice disorders. In addition, the Voice Center also plays a central role in the training of one to two laryngology fellows each year.
Upon referral, patients receive a comprehensive evaluation of vocal function including videostroboscopic examination of the larynx, and analysis of speech and voice quality. Videostroboscopy is designed to assess the motion and pliability of the vocal folds for voice production. Analysis of voice may include acoustic and aerodynamic analysis. Laryngeal electromyography is performed as needed.
After a profile of the patient's laryngeal and phonatory function is developed a comprehensive management plan is developed, which may include voice therapy, surgery or a variety of in-office or operating-room procedures to improve voice. Referring physicians receive an in-depth written report of the team's clinical findings and treatment alternatives. Patients may be returned to the care of their referring physicians upon conclusion of treatment. A Voice/Sound Studio, fully equipped with contemporary voice instrumentation in a space with maximum privacy and comfort, will be available for patients who have undergone surgery or other treatments to record their voices to test quality and effectiveness.
Vocal rehabilitation includes medical and/or surgical treatments, which may be carried out by Voice Center staff or by the patient's own physician.
Our Expert Laryngology Team
Gerald S. Berke, MD
Dinesh Chhetri, MD
Bruce Gerratt, PhD
Jennifer Long, MD, PhD
For information, referral and appointments, call: (310) 794-8634.
For referral and appointments to Dr. Dinesh Chhetri, call: (310) 794-4225.