The University of Maryland Professional Voice Program provides medical, surgical and rehabilitation services for individuals with voice problems and other disorders of the larynx (voice box). The Professional Voice Program is a unique resource for both the general public and those who use their voices professionally.

Individualized clinical services are available for people with vocal misuse and overuse syndromes, recurrent laryngitis, spasmodic dysphonia, vocal fold paralysis, the aging voice, cancer of the vocal fold, scarred vocal folds, and benign vocal fold growths, such as nodules, cysts, granulomas, webs, papillomas and polyps.

A specialized focus of the Professional Voice Program is to help diagnose and treat voice problems experienced by broadcasters, singers, actors and others who use their voice professionally. These voice problems may be a result of overuse or vocal misuse, but could also be caused by scarred vocal folds, vocal fold growths or even laryngopharyngeal reflux disease, known as LPRD.

When you become aware of any negative change in your voice, call the University of Maryland Professional Voice Program at 410-328-6866.

Voice Care Specialists

  • Elizabeth Guardiani, MD - Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology
  • Deanna Cohen, MS - Speech Language Pathologist

Voice Conditions & Treatments

The Professional Voice Program is equipped to diagnose and treat all voice disorders. Among the disorders most commonly seen are:

  • Hoarseness
  • Laryngitis
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease (LPRD)
  • Muscle Tension Dysphonia
  • Neurologic Voice Disorders
  • Psychogenic Voice Disorders
  • Reinke's Edema (smoker's polyps)
  • Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP)
  • Spasmodic Dysphonia
  • Laryngeal Cancer
  • Vocal Fold Bowing
  • Vocal Fold Granuloma
  • Vocal Fold Growths (Lesions): Nodules, Polyps, and Cysts
  • Vocal Fold Paralysis/Paresis
  • Vocal Fold Scarring

The vast majority of voice disorders can be traced to one of the following causes:

  • Infectious & Inflammatory Disorders
  • Vocal Misuse and Abuse
  • Benign & Malignant Vocal Fold Growths
  • Neurologic Disease
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease
  • Psychogenic Conditions


Most voice disorders can be treated with medications or voice therapy. However, after all conservative measures have been exhausted, there are certain conditions in which operative procedures are necessary. University of Maryland otolaryngologists are trained in advanced endoscopic approaches and minimally invasive procedures to increase the safety and effectiveness of the available treatments.

Comprehensive services include:

  • Voice Therapy: Voice therapy helps people who have trouble talking to other people. Services provided include evaluation and treatment of voice problems in children and adults. Otolaryngologists work in conjunction with speech-language pathologists to improve communication abilities of patients. Voice therapy may be the only treatment needed for some voice disorders and also is used to aid in recovery after surgery of the larynx.
  • Rehabilitation of Vocal Fold Paralysis
  • Botulinum Toxin Therapy
  • Dysphagia (Swallowing) Evaluation and Rehabilitation
  • Tracheotomy Decannulation Evaluation: This evaluation is available for individuals seeking second opinions about the necessity of tracheotomy tubes and the options for removing them.
  • Evaluation of the Aging Voice: This evaluation includes special assessments of various voice disorders associated with aging.