Voice and Swallow Clinic

The UK Voice and Swallow Clinic is a state-of-the-art facility that offers comprehensive solutions for voice, swallowing and some breathing problems. Our expert team includes speech-language pathologists; ear, nose and throat doctors (otolaryngologists); plastic surgeons; and other medical professionals. They specialize in treating disorders of voice, resonance, breathing, swallowing, and head and neck cancer. The providers at the UK Voice and Swallow Clinic not only deliver thorough patient care, but they actively contribute to cutting-edge research.

Our advanced diagnostic and therapeutic protocols let us offer care tailored to your needs. We are proud to serve residents of the Bluegrass and beyond with top-quality clinical care.


The Voice & Swallow Clinic is equipped with leading-edge technology to assess and treat voice and airway disorders.

  • High-definition laryngeal stroboscopy: This test lets us see how your voice box and vocal folds move when you talk. We use a tool called an endoscope that has a camera with a light on it. The endoscope can enter through the mouth or the nose. It helps us find problems that affect your voice and decide the best treatment for you.
  • High-speed digital laryngeal endoscopy: This test is done with an endoscope that goes in through the mouth. It takes faster pictures of your vocal cord vibration. The test helps us see hard-to-find problems with vocal cord vibration.
  • Acoustic and aerodynamic assessment of laryngeal function: These tests provide voice measurements, including the sound and the airflow as you speak. The results help us understand what's causing voice issues, decide the best treatment, and track progress before and after treatment.

Including two board-certified swallowing specialists, our clinicians have many years of experience in the evaluation of swallowing. Testing conducted in our clinic includes:

  • Clinical swallow evaluation
    • Non-invasive, in-office evaluation
    • We will ask you to consume various food textures and liquid consistencies.
    • We may do this evaluation to see if more tests are needed, including those described below.
  • Flexible endoscopic examination of swallowing (FEES)
    • A flexible endoscope is passed through the nose.
    • Then we ask you to consume various food textures and liquid consistencies. We may add blue coloring.
  • Modified barium swallow study (MBSS)/Videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS)
    • This test is done in an X-ray suite.
    • We ask you to consume various food textures and liquid consistencies mixed with barium (which shows up under an X-ray).


Our clinic provides evidence-based, patient-centered treatment for a range of issues and disorders.

Voice therapy

Behavioral voice therapy is a program to help improve the quality and health of your voice. It is led by a speech pathologist who specializes in voice. This often includes respiratory training, resonance training, and exercises designed to recalibrate the voice. You will learn techniques used to reduce the risk of any further damage. Our clinicians also help singers who have voice problems — no matter what kind of music they sing.

Voice therapy can help patients with various problems, including:

  • Hoarseness or dysphonia due to a lesion of the vocal folds, such as vocal fold nodules, cysts or polyps
  • Vocal fatigue
  • Recurrent voice loss
  • Voice strain
  • Professional voice user issues (i.e., teachers, call center employees, etc.)
  • Singing voice issues (i.e., vocal fatigue, loss of range, etc.)
  • Voice changes due to vocal fold paresis or paralysis
  • Laryngeal dystonia (AKA spasmodic dysphonia)
  • Voice changes due to age
  • Voice issues related to neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease

Gender-affirming voice care

Gender-affirming voice care is tailored to the needs of each individual and their gender identity, including services designed to achieve feminine-perceived, masculine-perceived, or gender-neutral/nonconforming voice.

It may include change of pitch, changes to rhythm/tone of the voice, or changes in resonance and/or pronunciation.

Inducible laryngeal obstruction (ILO)

Inducible laryngeal obstruction (ILO), also known as paradoxical vocal fold motion/vocal cord dysfunction, involves a narrowing of the laryngeal airway during breathing. It causes you to feel like you cannot breathe normally.

Other terms seen for ILO include EILO (exercise-specific), PVFM (paradoxical vocal fold motion), and VCD (vocal cord dysfunction). The best treatment for this disorder is via training provided by a speech-language pathologist.

Treatment for ILO can include the following:

  • Breathing re-training and optimization
  • Rescue breathing techniques to help control symptoms in real time
  • Voice therapy exercises designed to reduce laryngeal sensitivity

Resonance disorders

Resonance disorders include when the voice is too nasal (hypernasality) or not nasal enough (hyponasality). It can happen because of a condition you are born with such as cleft palate or a neurological condition such as ALS.

Chronic cough and throat clearing

Chronic coughing and throat clearing can be frustrating and even debilitating. If your doctor cannot find the cause, it may help to have voice therapy combined with techniques to reduce coughing and throat clearing.

Neurogenic voice changes

Neurogenic voice changes can happen due to Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS and other disorders. Treatment options are varied but may include: 

  • Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) – most often indicated for Parkinson’s disease
  • Augmentative & alternative communication (AAC) devices and “voice banking” for progressive diseases, such as ALS or multiple system atrophy (MSA)

Head & neck cancer rehabilitation

Our specially trained speech-language pathologists provide resources and services to head and neck cancer patients at Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky’s first and only NCI (National Cancer Institute)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Services provided include:

  • Alaryngeal voice restoration (following laryngectomy)
    • Our team can assist with alaryngeal voice restoration after laryngectomy, including tracheo-esophageal puncture (TEP) speech, electrolarynx use, and esophageal speech
  • Treatment for voice, swallow and speech changes during and after treatment for head and neck cancer
  • TEP/tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis management (if applicable)

Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)

Dysphagia is a medical term for problems swallowing food, liquids or even saliva. It can happen for many reasons. It can lead to dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss. Treatment for dysphagia may include a variety of exercises or techniques. Our highly trained clinicians follow the most recent evidence-based treatment protocols to treat swallowing disorders. Treatment approaches may include:

  • McNeill Dysphagia Treatment Protocol (MDTP), a treatment program that uses exercise physiology principles and a food list — along with clinician advice — to help you eat and drink safely. 
  • Custom treatment plans that target patient needs based upon the results of a swallow evaluation. These plans include a series of special exercises taught by a trained speech-language pathologist.
  • Pre-chemoradiation prophylactic exercises designed to make sure head and neck cancer patients swallow properly.


Appointments with our clinic typically require a physician referral.

For questions, or to make/change an appointment, contact us at 859-257-0143.

Referrals may be faxed to 859-323-2367.

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