Simon Best, M.D.

Simon Roderick Alfred Best, M.D.

Headshot of Simon Best
  • Director, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery


Gender Affirming Care, Hoarseness, Laryngeal Cancer, Laryngeal Disorders, Laryngeal Papilloma, Laryngeal Stenosis, Laryngeal Surgery, Laryngology, Laser Vocal Cord Surgery, Otolaryngology, Otolaryngology (ENT), Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis, Vocal Cord Paralysis, Voice Problems more

Research Interests

Immunobiology of Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP); Development of novel therapeutic treatments for Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP); Voice and swallowing outcomes following skull base surgery more

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Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointment Phone: 443-997-6467
4940 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Fax: 410-367-2300

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center)

Appointment Phone: 443-997-6467
601 N. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-1654 | Fax: 410-367-2300

Johns Hopkins Medicine - Green Spring Station

Appointment Phone: 443-997-6467
10803 Falls Road
Pavilion III, Suite 2500
Lutherville, MD 21093 map


Simon Best, M.D., is a fellowship-trained laryngeal surgeon whose clinical interests are focused on voice and airway disorders, including the comprehensive care of professional voice users and performers. Disorders he treats include recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), vocal cord paralysis, laryngeal cancer, precancerous vocal cord dysplasia, benign laryngeal lesions (polyps, cysts, nodules), and laryngeal and tracheal stenosis.  He has expertise in the operative management of vocal cord disorders, including laser surgery (KTP laser) and office-based management of vocal cord papilloma, dysplasia, and vocal cord paralysis.

Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis Program
Dr. Best has a particular clinical and research interest in Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis, and sees patients from across the county for specialized care for this disorder. 

Clinical Care
The clinical program directed by Dr. Best includes operative and office-based laser for papilloma, utilizing the KTP (Potassium Titanyl Phosphate) laser. This laser allows for very precise excision of papilloma while preserving underlying vocal function. Adjuvant therapy with bevacizumb (Avastin) is also available for aggressive cases of papilloma, and can help delay disease recurrence. The goal for almost all adult patients with RRP is to transition to office-based laser for papilloma, and Dr. Best has many papilloma patients who have been able to completely transition to office-based surgery, thus avoiding general anesthesia.

Research Program
In addition to treatment, the Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis Program includes the Best Laboratory which is a recipient of an NIH-funded grant.  Current research includes immunobiology of RRP and the development of novel immunotherapies to target the underlying viral infection. This research is conducted in collaboration with the Head and Neck Cancer and Cervical Cancer research groups at Johns Hopkins who also study HPV-related diseases. more


  • Director, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
  • Assistant Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Yale School of Medicine (2006)


  • Otolaryngology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2011)


  • Otolaryngology; Massachusetts General Hospital (2012)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (Otolaryngology) (2012)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

Best SR, Friedman AD, Landau-Zemer T, Barbu AM, Burns JA, Freeman MW, Halvorsen YD, Hillman RE, Zeitels SM. The safety of bevacizumab (Avastin) for the treatment of Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis. In press.

Best SR, Starmer HM, Agrawal Y, Chien WW, Hillel AT, 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. 2011 Nov 18.

Best SR, Ha PK, Blanco RG, Saunders JR Jr, Zinreich ES, Levine MA, Pai SI, Walker M, Trachta J, Ulmer K, Murakami P, Thompson R, Califano JA, Messing BP. Factors associated with pharyngoesophageal stricture in patients treated with concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Head Neck. 2011 Dec;33(12):1727-34.

Best SR, Fakhry C. The prevalence, diagnosis, and management of voice disorders in a National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) cohort. Laryngoscope. 2011 Jan;121(1):150-7.

Peng S, Best SR, Hung CF, Loyo M, Lyford-Pike S, Flint PW, Tunkel DE, Saunders JR, Wu TC, Pai SI. Characterization of human papillomavirus type 11-specific immune responses in a preclinical model. Laryngoscope. 2010 Mar;120(3):504-10.

Best SR, Peng S, Juang CM, Hung CF, Hannaman D, Saunders JR, Wu TC, Pai SI. Administration of HPV DNA vaccine via electroporation elicits the strongest CD8+ T cell immune responses compared to intramuscular injection and intradermal gene gun delivery. Vaccine 2009 Sep 4;27(40):5450-9.

Videos & Media

Play Video:

Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP) | FAQ's

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Woman With Raspy Voice Has Had More Than 300 Surgeries to Treat Rare Vocal Chord Disease, Inside Edition (4/11/2019)

A Toddler's Dwindling Voice Was Chalked Up to Acid Reflux. Her Problem Was Far More Serious Washington Post  (3/23/2019)

Laser Surgery Brings Back Patient’s Voice

Partial Laryngectomy, Full Life

A New Therapeutic Vaccine for RRP

Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis

Supracricoid Laryngectomy

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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