I had an appointment with Aaron at The Voice Clinic (TVC) where he is the owner, and we talked about the medical services provided at the clinic and about the technology used there. His partner at The Voice Clinic is the head-neck surgeon Dr. Alex Osborn, Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) medicine.
First Aaron showed me his voice lab, and he talked about the medical services provided at The Voice Clinic. The Voice Clinic’s ENT medical team can fix snoring, sleep apnea and voice rejuvenation. Snoring, as well as sleep apnea, can ne fixed in one visit, using the state-of-the-art laser available at The Voice Clinic, and the only one privately operating in Canada. Voice rejuvenation, “the voice lift”, is a unique treatment for mature voices to rejuvenate them back to when patients were in their 30s. The voice lift treatment is exclusive to TVC and it is Canada’s newest awake, in-office voice laser procedure used to tighten the “skin” of the vocal folds and make the voice sound younger. Like when you were in your 30s.
One of the surgery procedures performed at The Voice Clinic is the tonsil surgery, for those patients who aren’t willing to wait for an insurance covered surgery at the hospital where the waiting list for a tonsil surgery can be a few months long. The cost for a tonsil surgery is about $2,300. Snoring surgeries are the most efficient when performed on fit patients. A snoring surgery is performed by removing inside tissue that causes snoring by friction. Polyp removal from the vocal cords is another surgery procedure performed at The Voice Clinic. When it comes to pros and cons in terms of doing any if these surgeries at the Voice Clinic, the con is that they are not covered by insurance, as insurance companies will only cover such surgeries if they are performed in a hospital; but the pro is that the patient won’t have to wait on a few months long waiting list, which is the case in most hospitals.
Aaron Low has been working in the voice pathology field for 17 years, working with singers and professional speakers. He’s worked with celebrities such as Sting, Sam Smith right before last year’s Grammy Awards, Mick Jagger, Canada’s very own Shawn Mendes. He also works with famous opera singers such as Sondra Radvanovsky, but also Broadway singers, as well as Canada’s top CEOs and TV and radio hosts. He does a lot of work with those who have lost their voice or ability to speak due to a broad scope of causes.
Aaron also showed me the TVC’s state-of-the-art camera that records vocal cords and leave with a digital image of one’s vocal cords. I had the opportunity to see video demos of some of the singers’ vocal cords that Aaron has worked with. I also saw demos of acoustic software technology that Aaron uses to analyze the breath, voice quality and pitch range.
Another type of issues that the TVC team works with patients on are the post-surgical voice issues – after a general anesthetic procedure such as heart surgery, thyroidectomy or any facial plastic surgery, patients can suffer from swallowing or voice issues including chronic cough, lump-in-the-throat sensation and they come to The Voice Clinic to fix them.
Aaron Low also does executive and professional voice training – Canada's elite CEOs and publick speakers come to TVC to improve their impact during meetings, presentations, and in day-to-day communication on the phone or one-on-one.
The Voice Clinic uses state-of-the-art Ear-Nose-Throat and Singing Voice Lab technology and is guided by Aaron’s 17 years of experience and 20,000+ hours of voice therapy to all ages. They will visualize the vocal cords moving at high speed and play them back in slow-motion to show the patient details they’ve never seen before. These tools guide to then help provide the best medical, therapeutic or athletic vocal health focus. Dr. Alexander Osborn, the TVC's ENT specialist, has completed his training in both Pediatric and Adult Otorhinolaryngology (i.e., Ear-Nose-Throat medicine); and along with his PhD in Molecular Genetics, he brings only the best to the clinic’s patients.
There are voice emergencies. Occasionally, Aaron and Dr. Osborn are called to a venue to check the vocal cords with their portable scope and use today’s newest hands-on techniques. The artist may need to know if they are healthy enough to perform, and singers are like the quarterback, they have to go on! Aaron’s expertise in releasing the neck musculature brings the brain’s coordination back to the performer. Often there is no problem with their vocal cords, but singers tension patterns become extremely frustrating. Even a little bit of tongue tension, voice box tension, jaw tension, breathing tension, or front neck tension can cause an imbalance to their voice function. This then gives them fatigue and pain that can be mild to chronic or “shooting”, often to their ear, chest, or throat. They may lose high notes or the proper texture of their sound. Training with a teacher will not bring back what they’ve lost. The Voice Clinic team investigates where problems originate and fixes them, there is no guess work. And they love what they do! The Voice Clinic helps give them back their signature sound.
For more information on The Voice Clinic and the medical services provided there, please visit TheVoiceClinic.com.
|Aaron Low, Voice Pathologist, MS CCC-SLP|
|Aaron Low and Shawn Mendes|
|Aaron Low and Dave Matthews|
|Singer Sam Smith|
|This is how our vocal cords look like|