Injections of Botox

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Hi Dr, I think your site is first class. I have a question about botox injections for voice problems. I heard it can cause swallowing, eating, swelling, breathing problems and others. Could this be true and how dangerous is it? I just read today about a Dr Mort Cooper who claims to have a natural cure for Spasmodic Dysphagia, which from the sounds of people speaking on his videos sounds like my condition. He calls it Direct Voice Rehabilatation. (DVR) Have you heard of it and would that be a feasible treatment?

James P Thomas MD's picture
Submitted by James P Thomas MD on Sat, 2012-04-07 12:01

In general, botulinum toxin injections are not given for “voice problems”. Injections of botulinum toxin are used specifically for laryngeal spasms. Laryngeal spasms can be present in various muscles of the larynx. They also can be active during differing tasks. For instance, they can be present during phonation or they can be present during breathing. On the Therapy:Dystonia page I speak about this in more detail.

In my experience, speech therapy works very well with nonorganic types of voice disorders. I have not seen it work with laryngeal spasms, which are a neurologic disorder.

So the most important consideration is to have an accurate diagnosis before undergoing a treatment. Consequently it is difficult to discuss treatment without having an accurate diagnosis. The only way I know to obtain this is with an appropriate listening and laryngeal examination.