Benign Vocal Fold Lesions
Voice and Swallowing Clinic, UW Hospital
Voice Clinic, 1 S. Park
ENT Clinic, UW Hospital
ENT Clinic, 1 S. Park
UW Health staff focus on the careful treatment of vocal fold polyps, nodules and cysts - the most common of benign vocal fold masses. Although they are not dangerous, they can prevent us from producing a normal-sounding voice, as well as cause significant hoarseness.
High vocal demands and an unhealthy environment, such as smoking or acid reflux, contribute to the arrival of benign vocal lesions. If you believe you have a benign vocal lesion, please consult your physician to discuss the appropriate steps.
Normal vocal folds are smooth and straight as they rest on top of the windpipe, or trachea. When air exits the lungs, the soft superficial layer of the vocal folds is set in motion, creating sound. If the contour of the vocal folds is altered by lesions, the vibration pattern changes normal sound production and causes hoarseness.
Physicians and support staff perform an examination using a thin, flexible endoscope through the nose or in the mouth. Special lighting then captures images of the vocal folds as they vibrate. Occasionally it is necessary for the vocal folds to be examined in the operating room under microscopic control.
Physicians and support staff consider the whole patient and his or her vocal needs when determining treatment. In addition, specific consideration is given to professional and performing voice users. Examples of treatments include:
- Voice therapy
- Improved vocal hygiene
- Lesion removal or microlaryngoscopy