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James A. (Jim) Burns, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical SchoolDr. Burns is a laryngeal surgeon in the Center for Laryngeal Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • Phone: 617-726-1444
Laryngeal Surgery
Department of Surgery


  • Cancer Center
  • Head & Neck Cancers
Clinical Interests
Laryngeal microsurgery
Cancer of the throat and vocal cords
Vocal cord paralysis
Phonosurgery and Voice Disorders
Medical & Surgical Mgmt of the Upper Aerodigestive Tract of Vocal Arts
Voice restoration and rejuvenation
Airway surgery
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD, University of Virginia Medical School
Residency, University of Virginia Health System
Fellowship, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Board Certifications
Otolaryngology, American Board of Otolaryngology
Patient Gateway
Yes, learn more
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients


Dr. James Burns is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia Medical School.  He completed residency in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery in 1996 at the University of Virginia Health Science Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Following the completion of his residency, he served four years on active duty with the United States Air Force between 1996 and 2000.  During that time Dr. Burns served as the medical director of the Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery service at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.  He received The Air Force Commendation Medal along with an honorable discharge from the Air Force in 2000.  After two years in private practice in Virginia, he received an additional year of training at Harvard at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in a Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice fellowship. 

At the completion of his fellowship Dr. Burns returned to the University of Virginia as the Director of the newly formed division of Laryngology and proceeded to develop a state of the art voice center where none had previously existed. Due to his accomplishments as a standout fellow, and as a consequence of a national search, he was recruited to join the full time faculty in the Department of Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital as part of the newly formed Voice Center.  Since joining the staff, his efforts have been concentrated in the area of microlaryngeal and laryngeal framework surgery as well as head and neck cancer and endoscopic airway stenosis management.  His fellowship in laryngology had a special focus on all aspects of endoscopic microlaryngeal surgical techniques, including office-based procedures and photoangiolytic laser treatment of benign and malignant laryngeal lesions.

ResearchPulsed laser photoangiolysis for treatment of benign and malignant laryngeal epithelial disease.

The voice center group, under the direction of Steven Zeitels and in collaboration with R. Rox Anderson, applied concepts of selective vessel ablation to develop a new paradigm in the treatment of epithelial laryngeal diseases.  This new treatment strategy was adapted to office-based treatments, allowing patients to avoid repeated general anesthetics.  This treatment strategy is becoming widely adapted within the otolaryngologic community worldwide.


View my most recent publications at PubMed

Burns JA, Kobler JB, Heaton JT, Anderson RR, Zeitels SM. Predicting Clinical Efficacy of Photoangiolytic and Cutting/Ablating Lasers Using the Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane Model: Implications for Endoscopic Voice Surgery. Laryngoscope 2008; 118(6): 1109-1124.

Center for Laryngeal Surgery
One Bowdoin Square
11th Floor
Boston, MA 02114-2927

Phone: 617-726-1444
Phone 2: 617-726-0218
Fax: 617-726-0222