Peter Belafsky, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
Otolaryngology (ENT/Ears, Nose, Throat)
- Professor, Department of Otolaryngology
- Director and Center for Voice & Swallowing
- Vice Chairman for Academic Affairs
Dr. Belafsky's primary clinical interests are the comprehensive diagnosis and management of voice, swallowing, and airway disorders. As medical 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,
- 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 he performs at the center include unsedated treatment of laryngeal polyps, leukoplakia, and papillomas, subglottic, tracheal, and esophageal strictures, and office-based vocal fold medialization.
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
M.D., Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1994
M.P.H., Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans LA 1994
Ph.D., Tulane University Graduate School, New Orleans LA 1997
B.A., Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, 1990
Internship: 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 Board of Otolaryngology, 2001
American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
American Bronchoesophagological Association
American Laryngological Society
American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society
California Medical Society
College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Dysphagia Research Society
San Diego Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Honors and Awards
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
The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Triological Society Career Development Award, 2010
9th World Congress OESO Clinical Research Award � Environmental Esophagitis, Monaco, Grimaldi Forum, 2008
Tulane University/Charity Hospital Resident of the Year Nominee, 1999
The American Rhinologic Society, June, The Cottle Centennial Best Research Paper - First prize, 1997
Cum Laude - Vassar College, 1990
Select Recent Publications
Esophageal A-ring is associated with the severity of gastroesophageal reflux. Nachalon Y, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Dhar SI, Mehdizadeh OB, Cassady AT, Belafsky PC. Laryngoscope. 2019 Jun 14. doi: 10.1002/lary.28143. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31199518
Chronic inflammatory response in the rat lung to commonly used contrast agents for videofluoroscopy. Ueha R, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Sato T, Goto T, Nito T, Tsunoda K, Belafsky PC, Yamasoba T. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2019 May 7;4(3):335-340. doi: 10.1002/lio2.269. eCollection 2019 Jun. PMID: 31236468
High elevation training mask as a respiratory muscle strength training tool for dysphagia. Shen SC, Nachalon Y, Randall DR, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Belafsky PC. Acta Otolaryngol. 2019 Jun;139(6):536-540. doi: 10.1080/00016489.2019.1605196. Epub 2019 Apr 29. PMID: 31035838
Volitional control of the upper esophageal sphincter with high-resolution manometry driven biofeedback. Nativ-Zeltzer N, Belafsky PC, Bayoumi A, Kuhn MA. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2019 Feb 28;4(2):264-268. doi: 10.1002/lio2.255. eCollection 2019 Apr. PMID: 31024999
Primed mesenchymal stem cells package exosomes with metabolites associated with immunomodulation. Showalter MR, Wancewicz B, Fiehn O, Archard JA, Clayton S, Wagner J, Deng P, Halmai J, Fink KD, Bauer G, Fury B, Perotti NH, Apperson M, Butters J, Belafsky P, Farwell G, Kuhn M, Nolta JA, Anderson JD. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019 May 14;512(4):729-735. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.03.119. Epub 2019 Mar 26.
Acute inflammatory response to contrast agent aspiration and its mechanisms in the rat lung. Ueha R, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Sato T, Goto T, Nito T, Belafsky PC, Yamasoba T. Laryngoscope. 2019 Jul;129(7):1533-1538. doi: 10.1002/lary.27663. Epub 2018 Nov 22.PMID: 30467858
The Prevalence of Cricopharyngeal Webs in Elderly Cadavers. Mehdizadeh OB, Wickwire P, Said M, Belafsky PC. Laryngoscope. 2019 Jan;129(1):63-66. doi: 10.1002/lary.27529. Epub 2018 Nov 8. PMID: 30408176
The Relationship Between Hiatal Hernia and Cricopharyngeus Muscle Dysfunction. Nativ-Zeltzer N, Rameau A, Kuhn MA, Kaufman M, Belafsky PC. Dysphagia. 2019 Jun;34(3):391-396. doi: 10.1007/s00455-018-9950-3. Epub 2018 Nov 7. PMID: 30406336
Allen J, Belafsky PC. Endoscopic cricopharyngeal myotomy for Zenker diverticulum using the harmonic scalpel. Ear Nose Throat J. 2010 May;89(5):216-8.
Allen JE, White CJ, Leonard RJ, Belafsky PC. Prevalence of penetration and aspiration on videofluoroscopy in normal individuals without dysphagia. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Feb;142(2):208-13.