Hoarseness Specialist

Robert Baxter Meek, III, MD -  - Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor

Anne Arundel ENT

Robert Baxter Meek, III, MD

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor & Otolaryngologist located in Annapolis, MD

Board certified otolaryngologist Dr. Robert Baxter Meek, III of Anne Arundel ENT, located in Annapolis, Maryland has a wealth of experience helping patients overcome damage to their vocal cords. As a music lover and classically trained pianist, he has a special interest helping singers repair their vocal cords. Dr. Meek works with a dedicated speech pathologist, Heather Langford, to inform treatment plans for patients and help them recover quickly.

Hoarseness Q & A

How does Dr. Meek evaluate hoarseness?

The first thing he does is listen to the quality of the patient’s voice. He then performs a physical exam with special attention to the sinuses, oral cavity, and neck.

A flexible laryngoscopy is then performed following placement of medicine to open up and numb the nose and throat. This allows evaluation of the vocal cords for inflammation, tumors, and movement. If any significant findings are discovered or if the cause of the hoarseness is not discovered by the initial examinations, then a flexible laryngoscopy with videostroboscopy is performed.

A flexible laryngoscopy and videostroboscopy is performed in conjunction with Dr Meek’s Speech Pathologist, Heather Langford who has over 20 years experience with voice and swallowing analysis. The videostroboscopy portion of the procedure allows evaluation of the wave created on the vocal cord by flashing a light in sequence with the frequency of the voice. The images are then recorded for a more in depth analysis for lesions not easily seen with the naked eye. The vocal cords vibrate faster than the human retinae can see. The videostroboscopy also allows an in depth analysis of the movement of the vocal cords, such as movement found in partial paralysis or paralysis.  

How does Dr. Meek treat hoarseness?

There are several different methods Dr. Meek may use, such as:

  • Vocal hygiene instruction
  • Treatment of reflux, if present, with medications, lifestyle and diet change recommendations, and, in rare instances, surgery to fix a hiatal hernia or weak lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Voice therapy to treat excessive straining, minimize behaviors that lead to vocal nodules, polyps, and granulomas.  
  • Surgery to remove vocal nodule (in rare instances), vocal polyps, vocal cyst, scarring of the vocal cords, removal of laryngeal tumors.
  • Vocal cord injection of Botox to treat spasmodic dysphonia.
  • Vocal cord injections of a calcium or hyaluronic acid based material to treat vocal cord paralysis or thinning of the vocal cords associated with aging.  Dr Meek is one of the few doctors in the region with the ability to perform this procedure under local anesthesia.  The procedure usually takes less than 5 minutes and patients are able to begin voicing immediately.

Dr. Meek has a particular interest in working with singers having been involved in music from an early age. He is a classically trained pianist and has played in a number of musical groups. He has also participated in musical theater in college and locally with his children. Dr. Meek and his voice therapist, Heather Langford, will always make time to evaluate a singer or performer that has an upcoming performance.  

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Anne Arundel ENT, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

AARP
Aetna
Blue Choice Health Plan
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Cigna
Medicare
Tricare
United Healthcare