The Pediatric Voice Program at Lurie Children’s (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital) continues to remain the only one of its kind in Chicago. The Pediatric Voice Program serves the Chicago-land community by addressing and treating children’s voice conditions.
“We didn’t have a voice program at Lurie Children’s or anywhere in the city. That’s why I began the program which started seeing patients in April 2012,” says Jonathan Ida, MD, who currently leads the multidisciplinary Pediatric Voice Program at Lurie Children’s. “It’s essentially a way for kids to get a complete evaluation of their voice conditions.”
The Pediatric Voice Program has extensive resources and benefits that include extensive airway surgery expertise, a wide diversity of aerodigestive-related services, a voice team with strong clinical experience in how the voice relates to swallowing and breathing, and skilled pediatric-specific speech therapy with several voice-focused speech and language pathologists who specialize in voice disorders.
One of the most common voice conditions that Ida and his team see involves a variety of problems with the vocal cords that all cause some level of hoarseness from minor to severe.
“Hoarseness is extremely common in kids and why we think it’s not common is because parents and pediatricians are very dismissive of it,” says Ida. “We think hoarseness in kids is cute but it’s not normal especially when children get to their teenage years and they want to use their voice for singing or other activities. If it’s not fixed, voice problems can continue to get worse.”
Hoarseness in children can be caused by vocal cord nodules, cysts, paralysis or intubation during birth among other causes.
In the situations where surgery is the most appropriate treatment, most of the procedures can be performed endoscopically (through the mouth without any skin incisions), and in some children, the procedures might be done in an outpatient setting.
The Voice Program clinic is currently held at Lurie Children’s main hospital. Voice evaluations are also offered at Lurie Children’s New Lenox and Westchester Outpatient Centers.
To learn more about the efforts of the Pediatric Voice Program >
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, formerly
Children’s Memorial Hospital, is a 23-story, state-of-the-art hospital
located in downtown Chicago on the campus of its academic partner, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals in the U.S.News & World Report 2013-14
Honor Roll rankings. Lurie Children’s provides pediatric care in a
setting that offers the latest benefits and innovations in medical
technology, research and family-friendly design. The hospital relies on
philanthropic support to care for more than 149,000 children each year.