Peter C. Belafsky, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Director, Center for Voice & Swallowing

Professor, Department of Otolaryngology

To see if Peter C. Belafsky is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).



Otolaryngology (ENT/Ears, Nose, Throat)




Locations and Contact

Glassrock Building

Otolaryngology Speech Audio Clinic
2521 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers

Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Clinical Interests

Dr. Belafsky's primary clinical interests are the comprehensive diagnosis and management of voice, swallowing, and airway disorders. As Director of the Voice and Swallowing Center at UC Davis, Dr. Belafsky treats a wide array of laryngeal and esophageal disorders. These disorders include but are not limited to vocal fold paralysis and paresis, vocal fold dysfunction (VCD), laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), chronic cough, and dysphagia caused by stroke, ALS, Zenker's diverticulum, esophageal motility disorders, Parkinson's disease, and swallowing problems suffered as a consequence of the treatment of head and neck cancer. Dr. Belafsky has pioneered minimally invasive treatments of voice and swallowing disorders. Minimally invasive in-office procedures performed by Dr. Belafsky at the Center include unsedated treatment of laryngeal polyps, leukoplakia, and papillomas, subglottic, tracheal, and esophageal strictures, and office-based vocal fold medialization.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Belafsky's primary passion is the innovative treatment of profound swallowing disorders. He has created a medical device that can manually control the upper esophageal sphincter, is working on an innovative dilator for upper esophageal sphincter stenosis, is developing a comprehensive swallow propulsion system, and is evaluating the use of muscle stem cells for dysphagia rehabilitation.


Head and Neck Surgery

Undergraduate School

B.A., Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY 1990

Medical School

M.D., Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans LA 1994

Other School

M.P.H., Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans LA 1994

Other School

Ph.D., Tulane University Graduate School, New Orleans LA 1997


Otolaryngology, Tulane University, New Orleans LA 1995-1996


Otolaryngology, Tulane University, New Orleans LA 1996-2000


Laryngology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem NC 2000-2001

American Laryngological Presidential Citation Award, COSM, 2017

American Broncho-Esophagological AssociationBest Poster Presentation, COSM 2015, 2016

Dean's Team Award, for laryngeal transplant, 2011

Recipient, Dean's Team Award for Excellence in Clinical Care, for outstanding multi-disciplinary team contribution, 2011

The Honorable Mention Award for Clinical research, The American laryngological, Rhinological, and Otology Society, 2010

Evangelista L, Andrews T, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Nachalon Y, Kuhn M, Belafsky P. Association of Functional Outcomes in Tracheoesophageal Voicing With Intratracheal Pressures and Esophagram Findings. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2021 Dec 1;147(12):1065-1070. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2021.2409. PMID:34529045. 

Serel-Arslan S, Demir N, Belafsky PC. The Status of Dysphagia Clinics During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Dysphagia. 2021 Nov 18:1–8. doi:10.1007/s00455-021-10386-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID:34792621.

Nativ-Zeltzer N, Nachalon Y, Kaufman MW, Seeni IC, Bastea S, Aulakh SS, Makkiyah S, Wilson MD, Evangelista L, Kuhn MA, Sahin M, Belafsky PC. Predictors of Aspiration Pneumonia and Mortality in Patients with Dysphagia. Laryngoscope. 2021 Jul 27. doi:10.1002/lary.29770. Epub ahead of print. PMID:34313344.

Nativ-Zeltzer N, Kuhn MA, Evangelista L, Anderson JD, Nolta JA, Farwell DG, Canestrari E, Jankowski RJ, Belafsky PC. Autologous Muscle-Derived Cell Therapy for Swallowing Impairment in Patients Following Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer. Laryngoscope. 2021 May 14. doi:10.1002/lary.29606. Epub ahead of print. PMID:33988246.

Cates DJ, Evangelista LM, Belafsky PC. Effect of Pretreatment Dysphagia on Postchemoradiation Swallowing Function in Head and Neck Cancer. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2021 May 4:1945998211009853. doi:10.1177/01945998211009853. Epub ahead of print. PMID:33940987.

Dhar SI, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Mehdizadeh OB, Ramaswamy AT, Nachalon Y, Belafsky PC. Effects of Pyridostigmine on Esophageal and Pharyngeal Motility in Dysphagic Patients Undergoing High-Resolution Manometry. Dysphagia. 2021 Jan 15. doi:10.1007/s00455-020-10243-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID:33452552.

Nachalon Y, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Dhar SI, Mehdizadeh OB, Cassady AT, Belafsky PC. Esophageal A-ring is associated with the severity of gastroesophageal reflux. Laryngoscope. 2020 Apr;130(4):951-954. doi:10.1002/lary.28143. Epub 2019 Jun 14. PMID:31199518.

Ueha R, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Sato T, Goto T, Nito T, Belafsky PC, Yamasoba T. Acute inflammatory response to contrast agent aspiration and its mechanisms in the rat lung. Laryngoscope. 2019 Jul;129(7):1533-1538. doi:10.1002/lary.27663. Epub 2018 Nov 22. PMID:30467858.

Shen SC, Nachalon Y, Randall DR, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Belafsky PC. High elevation training mask as a respiratory muscle strength training tool for dysphagia. Acta Otolaryngol. 2019 Jun;139(6):536-540. doi:10.1080/00016489.2019.1605196. Epub 2019 Apr 29. PMID:31035838.

Nativ-Zeltzer N, Rameau A, Kuhn MA, Kaufman M, Belafsky PC. The Relationship Between Hiatal Hernia and Cricopharyngeus Muscle Dysfunction. Dysphagia. 2019 Jun;34(3):391-396. doi:10.1007/s00455-018-9950-3. Epub 2018 Nov 7. PMID:30406336.