Voice And Velopharyngeal Dysfunction Program | Frequently Asked Questions

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Contact the Voice and Velopharyngeal Dysfunction Program

For Appointments:
Carmen Villar:  617-355-5116
Fax: 617-730-0320

For Program Information:
Laura Kelly: 781-216-3685
Email: voice.clinic@childrens.harvard.edu

In order to provide a comprehensive treatment plan, please be prepared for your first appointment to last up to two hours. If your child is 2 years, 9 months and older, expect that your visit will include seeing a speech and language pathologist as well as the otolaryngologist. If this visit is in our Velopharyngeal Dysfunction Clinic, your child will also meet with the plastic surgeon. 

Please bring your insurance cards plus any relevant medical documentation such as prior exam reports and endoscopic pictures or speech reports.

  • It is very likely your child will need to undergo a videolaryngology, which is camera about the size of a cooked spaghetti, that will go in the nose and down the throat. This is the best way to view the larynx and vocal cords. This procedure does not require sedation but we will use a nasal numbing spray to help with any discomfort. We suggest letting your child know this test may happen in advance so they are prepared for their visit. Prior to the videolaryngology we will review the process with you and your child during the visit and younger children will have the option of sitting on their parents lap to ease any anxiety. 
  • The nasal numbing spray that is used prior to the videolaryngology leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. We encourage you to bring your child's favorite drink or even a hard candy to suck on to help with the taste.
  • Because the appointment can last up to 2 hours, we suggest bringing some of your child’s favorite toys, books or activities to help pass the time during the wait period.
  • We will record a video of your child’s examination and still frames of the exam will be printed and given to you for your records. We do provide the option to have the complete video of the exam so please let us know that day if that is something you would like to have. At the end of the visit findings are summarized by the team and recommendations are made. A report is created and mailed to the referring pediatrician and/or referring speech clinician.
  • If your child’s appointment is on a school day we will be happy to give you school and work excuse note forms when checking out after your visit, so please be sure to ask for one at our front desk.

Please feel free to call or email us. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help ease any fears or concerns you or your child may have before the day of your appointment. Please also let us know if there are any special circumstances we should be aware of.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944