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Lee Akst, M.D.

Lee Michael Akst, M.D.
Director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery


Appointment Phone


Main Location

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center

Out-of-State & International Patients +
Out of State Patients

Call 410-464-6641 (8a.m. to 6p.m., EST, Mon-Fri)

Learn more about our out-of-state patient services »

International Patients

Call +1-410-502-7683 (7a.m. to 6p.m., EST, Mon-Fri)

Learn more about our international patient services »


  • Director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center
  • Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Centers & Institutes



Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center

Appointment Phone: 443-997-6467

601 N. Caroline Street
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-1654
Fax: 410-955-0035


Dysphagia, Dysphonia, Early Glottic Cancer, Glottic Stenosis, Laryngeal Disorders, Laryngeal Dysplasia, Laryngeal Papilloma, Laryngeal Stenosis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, Otolaryngology, Parapharyngeal Space Tumors, Pharyngitis, Phonotraumatic Lesions, Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis , Subglottic Stenosis, Sulcus Vocalis, Swallowing Disorders, Vocal Cord Cysts, Vocal Cord Nodules, Vocal Cord Paralysis, Vocal Cord Paresis, Vocal Cord Polyps, Voice Problems

Research Interests

Robotic laryngeal surgery; Voice and swallowing outcomes of neuro-otologic skull base procedures; Use of pulsed lasers for treatment of laryngeal disease; Functional recovery of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury; Treatment of vocal fold scar


Dr. Lee Akst specializes in treatment of diseases of the larynx (voicebox), with particular emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of patients with voice and swallowing disorders. He is a leader in the performance of office-based procedures such as vocal fold injection medialization, pulsed KTP laser treatment, pharyngeal pH probes, and transnasal esophagoscopy. Pulsed laser use in the operating room is another focus of his practice, allowing for subspecialty care of laryngeal papilloma, laryngeal dysplasia, and early vocal cord cancers while preserving voice quality.

A member of the American Academy of Otolarynology-Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Akst serves on national committees focused on Voice and also on Laryngology/Broncho-Esophagology Education. He also is an active member of the American Laryngological Association and the American Broncho-Esophagological Association. Some of Dr. Aksts research interests mirror his educational mission, as an area of study includes the teaching of laryngology to residents. Other research interests include development of robotic laryngeal surgery, study of voice and swallowing outcomes following neuro-otologic skull base procedures, and the use of pulsed lasers for treatment of laryngeal disease. more

Featured Video

Meet our Experts: Dr. Lee Akst

Dr. Lee Akst, director of the Voice Center, treats voice disorders like laryngitis, vocal polyps, vocal paralysis.

More Videos

    Additional Information

  • Education +


    • Yale University School of Medicine / MD (1999)


    • Cleveland Clinic / Otolaryngology (2005)


    • Massachusetts General Hospital / Laryngology (2006)


    • American Board of Otolaryngology / Otolaryngology (2006)
  • Research & Publications +

    Selected Publications

    Best SR, Starmer HM, Agrawal Y, Ward BK, Hillel AT, Chien WW, Francis HW, Tamargo RJ, Akst LM. Risk Factors for Vagal Palsy following Cerebellopontine Angle Surgery. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Mar 23.

    Starmer HM, Best SR, Agrawal Y, Chien WW, Hillel AT, Francis HW, Tamargo RJ, Akst LM. Prevalence, characteristics, and management of swallowing disorders following cerebellopontine angle surgery. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Mar;146(3):419-25.

    Olds K, Hillel AT, Cha E, Curry M, Akst LM, Taylor RH, Richmon JD. Robotic endolaryngeal flexible (Robo-ELF) scope: a preclinical feasibility study. Laryngoscope. 2011 Nov;121(11):2371-4.

    Akst LM, Broadhurst MS, Burns JA, Zeitels SM. Microflap laryngosplasty for treating an anterior-commissure web with papillomatosis. Laryngoscope. 2007 Aug;117(8):1496-9.

    Burns JA, Zeitels SM, Akst LM, Broadhurst MS, Hillman RE, Anderson R. 532 nm pulsed potassium-titanyl-phosphate laser treatment of laryngeal papillomatosis under general anesthesia. Laryngoscope. 2007 Aug;117(8):1500-4.

    Lee WT, Milstein C, Hicks D, Akst LM, Esclamado RM. Results of ansa to recurrent laryngeal nerve reinnervation. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Mar;136(3):450-4.

    Zeitels SM, Burns JA, Akst LM, Hillman RE, Broadhurst MS, Anderson RR. Office-based and microlaryngeal applications of a fiber-based thulium laser. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2006 Dec;115(12):891-6.

    Broadhurst MS, Akst LM, Burns JA, Kobler JB, Heaton JT, Anderson RR, Zeitels SM. Effects of 532 nm pulsed-KTP laser parameters on vessel ablation in the avian chorioallantoic membrane: implications for vocal fold mucosa. Laryngoscope. 2007 Feb;117(2):220-5.

    Kobler JB, Rosen DI, Burns JA, Akst LM, Broadhurst MS, Zeitels SM, Hillman RE. Comparison of a flexible laryngoscope with calibrated sizing function to intraoperative measurements. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2006 Oct;115(10):733-40.
  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +
  • Videos & Media +


    Diagnosing and Treating Voice Disorders: Johns Hopkins Voice Center (Q&A)

    Director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center, Dr. Lee Akst, answers questions about voice disorders, when it is time to see a voice specialist and what to expect when you do.

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