Chronic hoarseness and swallowing disorders are often seen together as complaints. This is due to the close anatomical relationship between the opening of the digestive tract (esophagus) and the opening to the lungs (larynx and trachea). These two symptoms require sophisticated high definition cameras and endoscopic equipment to differentiate between disease and neuromuscular disorders in this region. This equipment now makes initial or followup examination possible without the need for general anesthesia or operating room environment. In some cases, diagnostic biopsy, or curative treatment can be painlessly provided in the office setting with the patient fully awake. 

Anyone who smokes or uses smokeless tobacco, drinks alcohol daily (more than a drink or glass of wine at dinner), has a persistent "lump in the throat" sensation, or develops a bump on the outside of the neck needs to be evaluated by an ENT physician. More importantly by an ENT who has a videostroboscopic and nasal endoscopic system in their office. Previously , if a patient presented to the office with these symptoms and the patient had a bad gag reflex, or couldn't tolerate a flexible nasal scope passed thru the nose, a general anesthetic for microlaryngoscopy and/or rigid cervical esophagoscopy in the operating room would be indicated.

Currently, no patient in our practice who presents with hoarseness or swallowing complaints is taken to the operating room unless a endoscopic high definition camera system exam shows abnormal finding. This is a tremendous relief for the patient because they can visualize the suspected cause of their symptoms with the ENT physician and associated speech-language pathologist. Treatment options and definitive nonsurgical or surgical recommendations can be clearly discussed before proceeding to general anesthesia and surgery.

The entire nasal and oral cavities, larynx and vocal cords, and proximal esophagus(up to the entrance into the stomach) can be visualized with the high tech imaging systems in our office using only nasal or oral topical spray anesthesia.

Call our office for an appointment with Dr. Sciacca and one of our Speech-Language-Pathologists if experiencing any voice or swallowing symptoms for a thorough examination

For more information about hoarseness

For more information about swallowing 

4501 Southlake Pkwy
Suite #200
Hoover, AL 35244