Advanced voice diagnostics services at Eastern
Carolina ENT Head & Neck Surgery, Inc. include
videolaryngostroboscopy evaluations. In this state-of-the-art
examination, a strobe light is used to light up
the voice box. This special flashing light then
allows the speech-language pathologist and ENT
to see the vocal cords vibrating at very slow
speeds. This allows for better examination and
ultimately more accurate diagnosis and efficient
treatment planning for individuals with voice
A Stroboscopy Examination will be recommended
after an evaluation by an ENT to determine if
the fine vibratory charactersitics of the voice
are abnormal, to determine the exact nature of
a vocal cord lesion, or to determine if there
is a muscle tension disorder in addition to a
vocal cord lesion. Stroboscopy exams are excellent
for determining if the edges of the vocal cords
are smooth and straight, which is necessary for
normal voice production (especially in the professional
voice user or classically trained singer).
What happens during Stroboscopy?
During the exam, a patient is seated upright,
with the feet flat on the floor and leaning a
little bit forward from the hips. The speech-language
pathologist (SLP) will hold the tongue gently
with a piece of gauze, and a long, thin camera
will be placed into the mouth. This camera rests
above the tongue and only goes as far back as
the molar teeth. There is a special lens on the
end of the camera that can see down into the voice
box while the patient produces an /eeeeeee/ sound.
The patient often feels nothing during the examination
except the SLP holding the tongue. A few patients
may cough or gag if the tip of the camera does
touch the back of the throat or tongue. Most exams
take about 15 minutes to complete including rest
breaks and breaks for the SLP to reset camera
and computer controls.
Can I see the video of my vocal cords?
Yes. After the exam is over, the patient is shown
the video and all the anatomy and physiology findings
are explained in detail. Based on the exam, potential
treatment options are described. It is possible
to send a copy of the video or color pictures
of the exam to a referring physician, another
SLP who will be providing voice therapy, or any
other health care professional in need of the
Who performs the Stroboscopy
An ENT physician or a speech-language pathologist
with special training may perform the exam. At
Eastern Carolina ENT, stroboscopic examinations
are performed by Kathleen Cox, PhD, CCC-SLP.
How do I make an appointment?
If you have already seen an ENT physician, you
can make an appointment with Dr.
Cox by calling
252-752-5227 and requesting an evaluation.
If you have not already seen an ENT, you can
make an appointment with one at Eastern Carolina
ENT and the physician will determine if you should
be recommended for a stroboscopy.
If you have seen another physician (pulmonologist,
allergist, family doctor), and that physician
has recommended the examination, then you can
call 252-752-5227 for an appointment with Dr.
Cox. Please bring any medical records regarding
your voice problem to the appointment.