Our Lady of the Lake Voice Center evaluates and manages voice, swallowing, and airway disorders, and is a collaborative effort of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, the LSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the LSU Department of Communication Disorders.
The Center treats voice disorders and specializes in care for those whose occupations make them more prone to vocal problems, such as singers or speakers.
Watch as Alicia tells her story about her encounter at the OLOL Voice Center.
The Gift of Voice
The human voice is a blessing we exercise every day. We all use it for communication with our family, friends and coworkers. Some rely on their voice professionally as clergy, teachers, salesmen and singers. Sadly, most of us take our voices for granted until we lose our ability to speak. Now, Our Lady of the Lake Voice Center is here to provide specialized voice treatment to protect our special gift of voice.
How the Voice Works
The larynx controls the normal production of voice and directs food and air to the appropriate pathway. Voice is generated by the vibration of the vocal cords, which are located within the larynx. Hoarseness occurs with interference in the vibration of the vocal cords. We evaluate this disturbance through the use of videostroboscopy: a camera system that uses a strobe light to improve visualization of these vibrations.
The Voice Team
Dedicated to the evaluation, treatment and improvement of all types of voices and related disorders, the clinic is led by Dr. Andrew McWhorter, - an ENT physician with fellowship training in voice, swallowing and airway disorders. The Center is also composed of on-site speech pathologists-specialized healthcare providers trained in voice and swallowing rehabilitation. Additional specialist services for patient care are coordinated as needed. Through the dedication of this multidisciplinary team, Our Lady of the Lake Voice Center is proud to offer care otherwise unavailable in this region.
Voice disorder symptoms can seem mild at first and often progress to more severe problems. Early diagnosis can ensure effective treatment, so if you experience any of the following problems, consult your primary care physician or contact us at Our Lady of the Lake Voice Center.
- Voice loss
- Persistent cough
- Sore throat or lump in the throat
- Vocal fatigue
- Constant clearing of throat
- Neck or throat tightness
- Pitch problems
- Loss of vocal range
- Voice breaks
These problems are often signs of other medical complications, we often consult with specialists in gastroenterology, internal medicine, neurology, pulmonology, and other disciplines, as well as singing teachers and voice coaches.
Our services extend beyond voice to patients with laryngeal cancer, rehabilitation of head and neck cancer patients, narrowings in the airway and swallowing disorders.
- Professional Voice
- Vocal Fold
- Vocal Fold Paralysis
- Movement Disorders, including spasmodic dysphomia
- Endoscopic resection: transoral laser microsurgery (TLM)
- Conservation laryngeal resections
- Management of the post-laryngectomy patient
- Voice Restoration
We assist patients with narrowings in their airways to help avoid tracheotomy or remove those tubes already placed. Some patients that require long-term tubes can be fitted with more functional and comfortable alternatives.
- Stenosis Laryngeal
- Tracheal Stenosis
- Bi-lateral Vocal Cord Paralysis
We evaluate and diagnose swallowing difficulties and specialize in swallowing restoration following therapy for head and neck cancer patients.
- Zenker's Diverticulum
- Cricopharyngeal Disorder
- Voice analysis
- Laryngeal function studies
- Laryngeal EMG
- Botox injection
- Transnasal esophagoscopy
- FEES: Fiber optic Endoscopic Examination of Swallowing
- Surgical management
- Voice therapy
- Swallowing therapy
Meet Our Providers
Andrew J. McWhorter, MD
Dr. McWhorter is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He remained in Baltimore and completed his surgical internship and residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. McWhorter completed his fellowship training at The Vanderbilt Voice Center in Nashville, TN under Robert Ossoff, M.D., DDS. He assumed a faculty position at LSU in New Orleans where he remains as assistant professor and the Director of the LSU Voice Center.
Melda Kunduk, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Kunduk is a native of Istanbul, Turkey and completed her masters in speech pathology in London, England. She then returned to Turkey and worked as the first speech pathologist in that country. She later came to the United States and the University of Wisconsin where she completed her PhD under Diane Bless, Phd. Dr. Kunduk is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at the LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans.
Rebecca A. Repp, MA, CF-SLP
Mell A. Schexnaildre, MA, CCC-SLP
Ms. Schexnaildre is a native of Louisiana and received a bachelors of science degree in communication disorders and masters of arts in communication disorders from LSU. She has worked in Baton Rouge as a speech pathologist with an interest in voice since 1989.
The OLOL Voice Center is open Monday - Thursday, 8 am - 4 pm and Friday, 8 am - 1 pm. Call (225) 765-5335 for appointments.
4950 Essen Lane, Suite B
(4th Floor, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center)
Phone: (225) 765-5335
Fax: (225) 765-5339