“More than anything, it is important to carefully listen to the complaints of patients who are no longer able to precisely express what their ideal voice is. As needs differ based on genre and level, it is necessary to adjust the treatment accordingly by understanding the condition of the vocal cords in minute detail.”
“Vocal cord vibrations are not simply reciprocating movements. Rather, they are rolling undulations in which the edges join and move up from the bottom, opening and closing. These undulations occur very quickly, hundreds of times each second. I examine these movements in slow motion using a device called a stroboscope. When observing protruding lesions, that is to say vocal cord nodes and polyps, caused by voice overuse or other factors, it is not simply a matter of whether or not there are any lesions. It is extremely important to precisely discern at what depth the lesion is located within the vocal cord in three-dimensional terms.”
“I felt that there was a limit to what can be done when examining minute lesions with traditional equipment. I thought it would be necessary to have equipment that allows the vocal cords to be viewed realistically but while the high-pixel count of a 4K camera would be best in detailed observations, the strobe filming that slows the vibrations of the vocal cords does not synchronise with the CMOS sensor installed in 4K cameras. This leaves lines in the images, which is why I use an HD camera with a CCD sensor. For that reason, one issue was the selection of the monitor that best displays the original HD camera images and the upconverted images displayed on the Sony 4K medical monitor had a realistic three-dimensional quality I had not seen on HD monitors up to that time, and I made my decision immediately.”
“My examinations have become much easier to conduct. I can clearly see the three-dimensional movements of the undulations, and all I have to do is explain to patients what they are seeing. In particular, it is possible to understand the locations of protruded lesions in three-dimensional terms. This makes it possible to speedily plan treatment methods, such as whether or not surgery is appropriate. I now think that with past monitors it was necessary to complement ambiguous information with my own experience to gain a perspective.
I can also examine in detail the fine blood vessels of the vocal cord mucous membranes which I was not able to see accurately before. I have long believed that new blood vessels occurring as a result of chronic inflammation have an impact on voice endurance and I hope that this monitor will be able to help me verify that hypothesis.
When patients view images on this monitor for the first time, they are shocked by the level of clarity and realism. Being able to definitively understand the condition of one’s own vocal cords leads patients to an awareness of self-maintenance and gives them a feeling for the value of the examination.”
*The comments in this article do not guarantee the outcome of using a 4K monitor.
After graduating from university, Dr. Komazawa worked as a cram school teacher and was active as a singer. His unique professional history continued at age 32 when he entered medical school, and at age 38 he qualified as a medical doctor. He then became an otolaryngologist specialising in phonetics, a field that handles voice issues in a holistic manner. Dr. Komazawa chose this field as he felt it best matched his own life experience as a music lover.