Illnesses and injuries of the upper aero-digestive tract can affect people of all ages and walks of life. Disorders usually present with difficulty speaking, swallowing or breathing. While diagnosis can be challenging, many conditions can be treated with a combination of medicine and therapy. Others may require surgery.
“The vocal cords produce sound and are responsible for character of the voice, so there are many techniques we use to remove the disease, but we always try to maintain or restore the voice,” says Nwanmegha Young, MD, director of the Yale Medicine Speech & Swallow Surgery Program.