A Brief History
The laryngology program at MUSC was formally established in 1987 with the creation of the MUSC Voice Center by Lucinda Halstead, MD. The Voice Center was the first in South Carolina to have laryngeal videostroboscopy and to provide comprehensive care of the vocal professional by having a multidisciplinary team of professionals – laryngologist, speech-language pathologist, and singing voice teacher. In 1988, the multidisciplinary course, Spoleto Symposium: Medicine in the Vocal Arts was first offered and has been an annual educational offering since that time. Pediatric airway and voice management was also established at this time and the majority of pediatric airway management for MUSC was assumed by the laryngology program. In 1990, the Voice Center became the official site for treatment of the performers of the Spoleto Festival USA, which is a 17-day international festival of the performing and visual arts. Awareness of voice and airway problems in children performers continued with invited lectures at the Performing Arts Medicine Association Meetings in 1999 and 2004.
In 1995, the Voice Center became the first in South Carolina to provide comprehensive neurological evaluation of the larynx with the addition of a neurologist to the voice team, laryngeal EMG, and Botox injections.
In June 2000, the Voice Center underwent a major expansion in its scope and became the MUSC Evelyn Trammell Institute for Voice and Swallowing with the addition of Dr. Bonnie Martin-Harris to the faculty, who brought expertise in both voice therapy and swallowing to the University. Our ability to offer comprehensive speaking voice therapy and swallowing evaluation and therapy expanded tremendously. Multi-disciplinary treatment still continues, with singing voice evaluation and therapy performed by Deanna McBroom, MM at the College of Charleston. Her colleagues also have helped us with rehabilitation of specific problems with wind instrumentalists.As part of the Institute, the laryngology program has continued to expand its clinical services with cutting edge technology and practices. In 2002, a close clinical collaboration was established with the newly formed GI Motility Center headed by Don Castell, MD which expanded our evaluation of laryngeal problems to include Impedance Manometry and Multichannel Intraluminal Impedance pH (MIIpH) monitoring. In 2004, the laryngology program was gifted with a Pulse Dye Laser by the Physicians Care Charities which is used to provide cutting edge, voice sparing, office based surgeries for adult patients and voice sparing technology for children with laryngeal papillomas and patients of all ages with vascular lesions of the aerodigestive tract. The program is also in the process of becoming a site for the papilloma vaccine clinical trial and is awaiting equipment to expand services to include Transnasal Fiberoptic Esophagoscopy (TFE) and Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing With Sensory Testing (FEESST).
The clinical training of residents remains paramount with clinical rotations in laryngology and pediatric otolaryngology. The PGY-2 residents spend an additional month rotation on Allergy, Voice and Audiology. During that time, residents spend time with Dr. Castell learning to interpret MIIpH probes and with speech-language pathologists observing voice therapy and Modified Barium Swallows.