Dr. William Zhuolei Gao, MD

Dr. William Zhuolei Gao, MD

Dr. William Zhuolei Gao, MD

Languages: English
Fax: MGUH: 877-826-5501, MWHC: 202-877-8439

  • Laryngology
  • Otolaryngology
Conditions I Treat
  • abnormalities of the vocal cords
  • airway disorders
  • arytenoid dislocation
  • cough
  • cricopharyngeal achalasia
  • Show All
Procedures I Perform
  • airway dilation
  • botox toxin for spasmodic dysphonia
  • bronchoscopy
  • esophageal dilation
  • in office vocal cord injection
  • Show All
About the Provider

William Gao, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained laryngologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University Hospital. He specializes in diagnosing and treating problems that affect the three primary functions of the throat: voice, breathing (airway), and swallowing.

Dr. Gao employs unique in-office diagnostic techniques such as laryngeal videostroboscopy and bronchoscopy to ensure comprehensive evaluation of the voicebox and airway. Treatment is tailored to each person and may entail medical, procedural, or surgical approaches. Many procedures he performs can be done in the clinic using local anesthesia, avoiding the need for surgery under general anesthesia. Some of these awake in-office treatments include vocal fold injections, laser treatment of laryngeal lesions, biopsy of suspicious growths, and EMG-guided laryngeal Botox injections.

Dr. Gao’s expertise extends to surgery for voice restoration, laser surgery for removal of tumors of the voicebox, and reconstructive endoscopic/open airway surgery. He also works with a multidisciplinary team including voice therapists/speech language pathologists to provide the highest level of holistic care to patients with voice, airway, and swallowing problems.

Dr. Gao received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College after completing a six-year accelerated premedical/medical program in conjunction with Penn State University. He then joined Georgetown University for a five-year residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. Subsequently, he completed a one-year subspecialty fellowship in laryngology and care of the professional voice at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is an actively involved member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) and the American Laryngological Association (ALA).

  • Fellowship Program: University of Southern California Medical Center (2019)
  • Residency Program: MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (2018)
  • Medical School: Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia (2013)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Plastic Surgery Within the Head and Neck
  • Walsh A, Peesay T, Newark A, Shearer S, Parsa K, Pierce M, Gao WZ. Association of severe tongue edema with prone positioning in patients intubated for COVID-19. Laryngoscope. 2021 Jul 20. doi: 10.1002/lary.29773. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34287907.
  • Tripuraneni P, Wu EL, Gao WZ, Davidson BJ, Giurintano JP. Needle in the Haystack: Wire Bristle Foreign Body Presenting Deep Within the Tongue Base. Ear Nose Throat J. 2021 May 16:1455613211014079. doi: 10.1177/01455613211014079. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33993775.
  • Boles RW, Gao WZ, Johns MM, Daniero JJ, Grant NN, Rubin AD, Bhatt NK, Hapner ER, O'Dell K. Flexible Versus Rigid Laryngoscopy: A Prospective, Blinded Comparison of Image Quality. J Voice. 2021 Mar 25:S0892-1997(21)00072-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.02.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33775470.
  • Bhatt NK, Gao WZ, Timmons Sund L, Castro ME, O'Dell K, Johns MM 3rd. Platelet-Rich Plasma for Vocal Fold Scar: A Preliminary Report of Concept. J Voice. 2021 Jan 12:S0892-1997(21)00012-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2020.12.040. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33446439.
  • Boles RW, Gao WZ, Johns MM, Daniero JJ, Grant NN, Rubin AD, Bhatt NK, Hapner ER, O'Dell K. Flexible Versus Rigid Laryngoscopy: A Prospective, Blinded Comparison of Image Quality. J Voice. 2021 Mar 25:S0892-1997(21)00072-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.02.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33775470.
  • Shearer SC, Parsa KM, Newark A, Peesay T, Walsh AR, Fernandez S, Gao WZ, Pierce ML. Facial Pressure Injuries from Prone Positioning in the COVID-19 Era. Laryngoscope. 2021 Jan 2. doi: 10.1002/lary.29374. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33389768.
  • Gao WZ, Abu-Ghanem S, Reder LS, Amin M, Johns MM. A Novel Approach to Vocal Fold Mucous Retention Cysts: Awake KTP Laser-Assisted Marsupialization. J Voice. 2020 Aug 22:S0892-1997(20)30277-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2020.07.028. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32843259.
  • Bhatt NK, Gao WZ, Reder LS, O'Dell K. Novel Use of Ultrasonic Aspirator Device for Cricoid Chondroma Resection. Laryngoscope. 2020 Oct 27. doi: 10.1002/lary.29171. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33107630.
  • Kim C, Badash I, Gao WZ, O'Dell K, Johns MM 3rd. Idiopathic Ulcerative Laryngitis: A National Survey of Academic Laryngologists. J Voice. 2020 Apr 25:S0892-1997(20)30132-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2020.04.009. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32345504.
  • Clark BS, Gao WZ, Bertelsen C, Choi JS, Shoffel-Havakuk H, Reder LS, Hapner ER, Johns MM 3rd, O'Dell K. Flexible versus rigid laryngoscopy: A randomized crossover study comparing patient experience. Laryngoscope. 2020 Nov;130(11):2663-2666. doi: 10.1002/lary.28491. Epub 2020 Jan 6. PMID: 31904874.
  • Tang L, Kim J, Gao WZ. Nasal Polyps, Multifocal Laryngeal Masses, and Subglottic Stenosis in a Middle-aged Man. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 Mar 1;146(3):302-303. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2019.3904. PMID: 31876942.
  • Parsa KM, Gao W, Lally J, Davison SP, Reilly MJ. Evaluation of Personality Perception in Men Before and After Facial Cosmetic Surgery. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2019 Sep 1;21(5):369-374. doi: 10.1001/jamafacial.2019.0463. PMID: 31294743; PMCID: PMC6624815.
  • Dermody SM, Gao W, McGinn JD, Malekzadeh S. Case-Logging Practices in Otolaryngology Residency Training: National Survey of Residents and Program Directors. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Jun;156(6):1072-1077. doi: 10.1177/0194599817702622. Epub 2017 Apr 18. PMID: 28417670.
  • Elkassabany N, Garcia F, Tschabrunn C, Raiten J, Gao W, Chaichana K, Dixit S, Speck RM, Zado E, Marchlinski F, Mandel J. Anesthetic management of patients undergoing pulmonary vein isolation for treatment of atrial fibrillation using high-frequency jet ventilation. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2012 Jun;26(3):433-8. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2011.11.011. Epub 2012 Jan 20. PMID: 22265337.
  • Raiten J, Elkassabany N, Gao W, Mandel JE. Medical intelligence article: novel uses of high frequency ventilation outside the operating room. Anesth Analg. 2011 May;112(5):1110-3. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e318212b851. Epub 2011 Mar 3. PMID: 21372275.
    MedStar Health Providers participate with a wide range of health insurance products. We accept self-pay patients and the insurances plans listed below. This list is not comprehensive, it is updated periodically and is subject to change. If you do not see your health insurance plan or product listed, or if you have any questions regarding MedStar Health’s participation with your health plan, please contact your health plan to verify participation with our providers.

    Since the MedStar Health providers span the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia regions, our participation with DC, Maryland and Virginia Medical Assistance programs varies by provider group. Please contact your MedStar Physician’s Office to assist with verifying Medical Assistance participation. If you are enrolled in a Medicaid Managed Care Organization, please contact your Medicaid health plan to verify participation.

Practice Locations
  • 3800 Reservoir Road Northwest
    Floor 1
    Washington, DC 20007
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    Phone: 202-444-8186
    Fax: 877-826-5501

  • 106 Irving Street Northwest
    Pob 2700 North
    Washington, DC 20010
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    Phone: 202-877-6733
    Fax: 202-877-8439

Member of Medical Staff
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • MedStar Georgetown University Hospital