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Lee Akst, M.D.

Lee Michael Akst, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Lee Akst, M.D.
4.9 out of 5
89 Ratings
  • Director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center
  • Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery


Dysphagia, Dysphonia, Early Glottic Cancer, 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 more

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 more

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Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center

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


Lee Akst, M.D., specializes in treating the larynx (voicebox) particularly in the treatment of voice and swallowing disorders. He is a leading laryngologist in office-based procedures such as focal fold injections, pulsed KTP laser treatment and pharyngeal pH probes. 

Dr. Akst also performs pulsed laser procedures in the operating room which is a strong focus of his practice. Pulsed laser procedures allow for subspecialized care of laryngeal papillomas, laryngeal dysphasia and treatment of early vocal cord cancers while preserving the quality and strength of the voice. 

Dr. Akst serves on a national committee focused on voice, laryngology/brocho-esophagology education and an active member of the American Laryngological Association, the American Bronch-Ephagological Association and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 

His research interests include the development of robotic laryngeal surgery, the study of voice and swallowing outcomes following neuro-otological skull base procedures and the advancement of pulsed lasers for treatment of laryngeal diseases. more


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

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD, Yale School of Medicine (1999)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery / Otolaryngology (2006)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

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.

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.

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence Dr. Lee Akst: A Closler Look (4-3-2019)

Webinar Best Practices for a Healthy Voice (4/3/2017)

Advancing Treatments Help People Find Their Voices Again, TribeLive (4/25/16)

Is Vocal Fry Ruining My Voice? 4/12/16)

I’ll Take ‘Uptalk’ Stigma for $200
How people speak — accent, vocabulary, even vocal intonation — can have a serious impact on how they’re perceived. Diversity Executive Nov. 19, 2015

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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