Patient Care

Optimizing care for professional singers

Joseph Bradley, MD, talks with speech-language pathologist Megan Radder, right, at the Voice and Airway Center in Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. MATT MILLER/WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

The Washington University Voice & Airway Center has seen tremendous growth over the past five years and continues to provide outstanding voice care to the St. Louis region. The Center is currently comprised of two laryngologists (Randall C. Paniello, MD and Joseph P. Bradley, MD), two voice-trained speech-language pathologists (Archie Harmon, PhD and Megan Radder, SLP-CCC), and two swallowing-trained speech-language pathologists (Linda Neal, SLP-CCC and Kelsey Rosenquist, SLP-CCC).

In September, the Voice and Airway team will be growing. We are very pleased to welcome fellowship-trained laryngologist, Molly Huston, MD.  Dr. Huston is joining us from University of Washington Voice Center. A third specialist will allow us to continue to serve as the preeminent center for professional voice care in the St. Louis region.

Molly Huston, MD

For the past two seasons, we have been the exclusive provider of all acute voice care services for Opera Theatre of St. Louis. We also provide care for singers and actors from The Muny, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, and many local singing and theater groups.

“The most common disorders seen in singers include muscle tension dysphonia (difficulty in speaking), vocal nodules, and vocal polyps,” says Dr. Bradley. “Conservative treatment with voice therapy is the first line of treatment for tension and nodules with expected resolution times averaging one to four months.”

Vocal polyps can also sometimes be treated with therapy but often need surgical intervention. Fortunately, micro laryngeal excision (surgical removal) can provide resolution with full healing, and professionals can often return to singing in one month.