Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
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Speech therapy focuses on the ability to express one's self and to understand others.
A health care provider's order is needed before an appointment can be scheduled. Someone at your clinic will need to fax the order to 612-262-7980 or 1-888-460-0018.
A scheduler will call you. You may also call 612-262-7979 or 1-888-519-0014.
A speech-language pathologist explains what to expect during a videostroboscopy exam.
Hello. I'm a speech-language pathologist at Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.
One of the tools we use to get a good look at vocal folds is called videostroboscopy.
Videostroboscopy is a state-of-the-art technique that provides a magnified view of the vocal folds in action. Vocal folds vibrate too fast to be seen by the naked eye, so this technology uses a strobe light to visually slow down the vibration of the vocal folds – allowing for an accurate diagnosis of vocal fold conditions and diseases.
The procedure is simple and involves looking through the mouth and or nose. The scope does not go down your throat, it does not touch anything and it is not painful.
For some people, a small amount of topical anesthetic is used to ensure comfort during the procedures.
For about half of our patients, another thin flexible scope is gently placed through the nose and just over your palate to look at the vocal folds.
The scope is in your mouth or nose for a just a few minutes.
The images are seen on a screen and recorded, so they can be reviewed with you immediately after the exam. Your doctor will make a diagnosis, then work with you and a speech language pathologist to determine the best treatment plan for you – which may include medication, vocal exercises, and in some cases, surgery.
We offer videostroboscopy at United Hospital in St. Paul, and Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Talk to your doctor to see if this test might be right for you.
Your voice box (larynx)
The human voice is the organ of the soul. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
An extraordinary instrument, the larynx (voice box) allows us to convey emotions such as joy, anger or fear.
The vocal folds (vocal cords) vibrate to produce sounds for speech and singing.
Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute's Voice Clinic helps people with voice problems of all kinds, including difficulty communicating on the job, at home and in the community.
Many people (for example, teachers, sales people, singers, receptionists, medical personnel, politicians, clergy and restaurant workers) rely on their voices in their jobs. But few people really know how to take care of this valuable asset.
When to seek medical advice
Seek a medical evaluation if:
If you need additional evaluation and treatment for your voice, your medical provider may refer you to an otolaryngologist, a doctor whose specialty is ear, nose and throat care.
An otolaryngologist will diagnose whether you are having problems involving:
Voice problems are best managed by a team of professionals who know how the voice functions. These professionals may include otolaryngologists, speech-language pathologists, teachers of singing and psychologists.
Speech-language pathologists provide evaluation and treatment when:
Vocal changes can be caused by misuse, stress, environmental irritants and medically related health problems. The most common problems include:
Areas assessed include:
Treatment goals may include, but are not limited to:
Hoarseness is having difficulty producing sound when trying to speak, or a change in the pitch or quality of the voice. The voice may sound weak, very breathy, scratchy, or husky.
Ear, nose and throat (ENT, otolaryngology)
Otolaryngologists or head and neck surgeons are doctors who treat conditions affecting the ears, face, jaw, nose, sinuses and throat.
Cancer of the throat or larynx
Cancer of the throat is cancer of the vocal cords, voice box (larynx), or other areas of the throat.
Laryngitis is swelling and irritation (inflammation) of the voice box (larynx) that is usually associated with hoarseness or loss of voice.
Speech-language pathologists help people of all ages with speech, language and hearing problems.
Psychologists help individuals work through emotional difficulties through talk therapy. They also evaluate mental health through special assessments.
Source: Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
Reviewed by: Jane E Chandler, MA, CCC-SLP, speech-language pathologist, Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
First Published: 03/22/2011
Last Reviewed: 03/22/2011