New Cough Study Co-Authored by Dr. Bastian

Bastian Voice Institute physician Dr. Robert Bastian co-authored a study published this month, “The use of neuralgia medications to treat sensory neuropathic cough.” The paper, which was published in the open-access journal PeerJ, reports a series of 32 consecutive patients newly diagnosed with sensory neuropathic cough who were treated with one or more of the medications amitriptyline, desipramine, and gabapentin.

To learn more about sensory neuropathic cough, see our learning website’s encyclopedia entry, complete with teaching videos.

Dr. Bastian Presents at Conference in Portugal

Bastian Voice Institute physician Dr. Robert Bastian presented a lecture at a conference focused on the science and clinical aspects of neurotoxins like botulinum. The conference was held January 14–17, 2015, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Bastian presented on the subject of vocal tremor, explaining how spasmodic dysphonia often includes a component of tremor (i.e., dystonic tremor) which should not be confused with other types of tremor, like essential tremor or enhanced physiological tremor. To learn more about this topic, see our educational website’s entry on dystonic tremor of the voice or larynx.

Dr. Bastian Interviewed for Classical Singer

Bastian Voice Institute physician Dr. Robert Bastian is featured as an interview subject in the January 2015 issue of Classical Singer magazine. The article, entitled “Vocal Surgery, Myths, and More,” highlights Dr. Bastian’s experience and insights regarding vocal fold microsurgery for singers. Click here to read the interview. (The full article is made available here with permission from Classical Singer.)

Of related interest, a few photo examples of vocal nodules—before and after surgical removal—can be seen in our educational website’s vocal nodules photo gallery. On that same page is an informational video about the occurrence and treatment of vocal fold injuries.

BVI Launches Patient Portal

Bastian Voice Institute now offers its patients access to a patient portal. A patient portal is a secure website that lets patients conveniently access and manage many of the logistics of their healthcare at our institute. This portal can be used to request appointments, request prescription refills, send messages to our physician(s), obtain records, and more—all from your own computer. To learn how to sign up for the portal, see our patient portal information page.

Dr. Richardson Presents on HPV at Oncology Meeting

Bastian Voice Institute physician Dr. Brent Richardson presented with several others a study on the human papillomavirus (HPV) at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago. The study was titled “Detection of Novel HPV Mutations and Chromosomal Number Imbalance (CNI) in Laryngeal Cancer Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).”

The new testing methods described in this study enable a complete description of the specific genetic damage causing individual HPV-induced tumors. This technology may change the way tumors are treated on an individual basis, and allow for rapid assessment of whether the treatment is working. HPV causes certain larynx cancers, as well as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, both conditions of which Bastian Voice Institute has a large caseload.



BVI Physicians Speak at NSDA 25th Anniversary Symposium

Speakers at 2014 NSDA Symposium

L to R: Dr. Robert Bastian, Dr. Christy Ludlow, Dr. Andrew Blitzer, Dr. Joel Blumin, Dr. Seth Dailey, and Dr. Brent Richardson

Bastian Voice Institute physicians Dr. Bastian and Dr. Richardson both spoke on May 3 at the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association’s (NSDA) 25th Anniversary Symposium, held at the Hilton Garden Inn O’Hare Airport in Des Plaines, IL.

The symposium featured a number of medical professionals who have extensive experience with spasmodic dysphonia, and the sessions included panel discussions and audience Q&A. The stated goals of the symposium were: to provide a learning environment in which people with spasmodic dysphonia may enhance their understanding of the disorder; to facilitate an exchange of information on how to live effectively with the disorder; and to increase NSDA’s capabilities in measuring and understanding the needs of its members in order to develop future programs.

To learn about other NSDA events, see their website.


Dr. Bastian Contributes to New Book on Singing

The Ultimate Guide to SingingBastian Voice Institute physician Dr. Robert Bastian contributed two articles to the new book The Ultimate Guide to Singing: Gigs, Sound, Money and Health. The book includes 18 chapters with answers to 187 different questions asked by singers, on topics from navigating the music business to keeping one’s voice healthy.

Dr. Bastian wrote answers to the questions “Is getting surgery done on the voice ‘bad’?” and “How do I cope with the overwhelming vocal demands of gigs six nights a week? Help!” To that second question, Dr. Bastian discusses how to incorporate an “early warning system” for the health of your vocal folds—vocal tasks that he calls vocal fold swelling checks or swelling tests—into your daily routine. He also recently released a video on vocal fold swelling checks, explaining why they are beneficial and how to use them.

Learn more about The Ultimate Guide to Singing at its official webpage.

Take a Virtual Tour of Our Office

Bastian Voice Institute has recently added a virtual office tour to its website. We invite you to explore the friendly confines of our office space with this new virtual tour, which contains a plethora of 360-degree panoramas created by Google and a Google-licensed photographer. Walk in our front door, come up to the check-in counter, stroll through the waiting room and down our back hallway, and pop into our various examination and lab rooms. We particularly hope that this virtual office tour will give first-time patients a bit more peace of mind as they prepare for their first visit. Take a look!

Learning Website Now Easier to Use

Dr. Bastian’s educational website, Bastian Medical Media for Laryngology,has received a significant facelift. The website’s large repository of multimedia encyclopedia entries—featuring information about disorders of the larynx, throat, and upper airways—are now grouped into topical landing pages, like “Swallowing disorders” or “Diagnostics: Voice phenomenology.” This addition gives users one more way to explore the site, in addition to keyword search and photo and video galleries.

In the past few months, Bastian Medical Media for Laryngology has also become more mobile-friendly and has been optimized for faster load times. In addition, many new entries, photos, and videos continue to be added to fill out the website’s range of information. The website’s mission is: “to educate about voice, swallowing, airway, coughing, and other head and neck disorders in order to help people work more effectively with their personal physicians.”

BVI Physicians Teach at 2013 Annual Meeting

Bastian Voice Institute physicians Dr. Bastian and Dr. Richardson both taught courses at the 2013 Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, held from September 29 to October 2 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The annual conference draws thousands of attendees.

Dr. Bastian taught two courses. The first, “Vocal Play in the Diagnosis of Voice Disorders,” was about how clinicians can assess the voice’s capabilities, limitations, and aberrations by eliciting a variety of vocal tasks. The patient’s responses to these elicitations can provide critical information not revealed by the examination. The second course, entitled “Chronic Cough and Other Sensory Disturbances in the Head and Neck,” mainly addressed sensory neuropathic cough, as well as other elusive “sensations” that are often overlooked.

Dr. Richardson taught the course “Dyspnea and Noisy Breathing: Organic or Non-organic?“, which presented a diagnostic method to determine the causes of airway symptoms that have elusive diagnoses, and management of these problems, the treatment of which can sometimes be recalcitrant.