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

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


Otolaryngology (ENT/Ears, Nose, Throat)





  • Professor, Department of Otolaryngology
  • Director, Center for Voice & Swallowing
  • Vice Chairman for Academic Affairs


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

Glassrock Building

2521 Stockton Blvd., Suite 5200
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone 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 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.

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

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Medical Group


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

Board Certifications

American Board of Otolaryngology,

Professional Memberships

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

Triological Society

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

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.

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. Primed mesenchymal stem cells package exosomes with metabolites associated with immunomodulation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019 May 14;512(4):729-735. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.03.119. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Ueha R, Nativ-Zeltzer N, Sato T, Goto T, Nito T, Tsunoda K, Belafsky PC, Yamasoba T. Chronic inflammatory response in the rat lung to commonly used contrast agents for videofluoroscopy. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2019 May 7;4(3):335-340. doi:10.1002/lio2.269. eCollection 2019 Jun. PMID:31236468.

Nativ-Zeltzer N, Belafsky PC, Bayoumi A, Kuhn MA. Volitional control of the upper esophageal sphincter with high-resolution manometry driven biofeedback. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2019 Feb 28;4(2):264-268. doi:10.1002/lio2.255. eCollection 2019 Apr. PMID:31024999.

Mehdizadeh OB, Wickwire P, Said M, Belafsky PC. The Prevalence of Cricopharyngeal Webs in Elderly Cadavers. Laryngoscope. 2019 Jan;129(1):63-66. doi:10.1002/lary.27529. Epub 2018 Nov 8. PMID:30408176.

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.