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Sid Khosla, MD
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Sid Khosla, MD
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Publish Date: 04/30/09
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
Patient Info: For an appointment with a UC Physicians voice specialist, call (513) 475-8400.
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UC HEALTH LINE: Voice Specialists Can Help With Wide Range of Problems

CINCINNATIWhat do a kindergarten teacher, an opera singer and a courtroom attorney have in common?

No, that’s not a line from a stand-up comedy act. All three occupations carry a high risk for developing a voice disorder—and UC Physicians' Voice and Swallowing Center stands ready to help.

“The classic patients we see for mild to moderate problems are people who use their voice a lot for a living,” says Sid Khosla, MD, an otolaryngologist and the center’s director.

“Anyone who has hoarseness or problems with their voice for over three weeks should see an otolaryngologist—preferably one with experience treating voice disorders.”

Such disorders range from very mild problems that can be treated with therapy and lifestyle changes to severe ones that require surgery. In all cases, Khosla says, the center takes a team approach, with speech pathologists and physicians working together and often consulting with other disciplines such as neurology, pulmonology and gastroenterology.

Khosla, an assistant professor in the otolaryngology–head and neck surgery department at UC who has a fellowship in laryngology and voice disorders, works closely with physicians Yash Patil, MD, and Keith Wilson, MD, at the Voice and Swallowing Center, along with Alessandro de Alarcon, MD, who treats pediatric voice disorders.  Keith Casper, MD, will join the physicians’ team in August.

Speech pathologists Bernice Klaben, PhD, and Kathy Adkins are also an integral part of the center, Khosla says.

Adkins specializes in treating the singing voice—not just for professional singers, but also for people who enjoy singing in church choirs or other amateur ensembles. “Usually, their problems respond to voice therapy,” says Khosla, although sometimes surgery is necessary.

Some of the more common voice problems Khosla and his team see:

• Laryngeal reflux, where stomach acid gets into the larynx, causing hoarseness and a dry cough with frequent throat-clearing. “We often give voice therapy and medications for that while recommending some lifestyle changes,” Khosla says.

• Weakness in the vocal cords. This happens as people age, but also with people who use their voice a lot. “You would think that if you just talk a lot, you would strengthen those muscles,” Khosla says, “but there are actually specific exercises that will strengthen them. We do that with voice therapy.”

Vocal cord paralysis, where the nerve is injured, is more severe and can be treated with a temporary or permanent implant. Khosla also performs laryngeal reinnervations, in which the damaged nerve is replaced.

Khosla is among the national leaders in the treatment of vocal fold scarring, which occurs when the lining doesn’t vibrate well because it’s stuck down to the underlying tissue. Using an operation known as the Steve Gray minithyrotomy, Khosla is able to free the scar—expertise that is probably unique in Greater Cincinnati, he says.

Additionally, all of the physicians at the center treat vocal cord cancers.
“What sets us apart at UC Physicians is that we use cutting-edge science to guide therapies for really difficult problems,” Khosla says. “We’ve been able to take what we’ve learned in the lab and use it to improve our ability to help patients in the clinic.”

For an appointment with a UC Physicians voice specialist, call (513) 475-8400.


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