Vocal Fold Scarring
Vocal fold scarring is one of the most difficult voice problems to treat. Scarring usually occurs due to trauma to the vocal cords from intubations or longstanding acid-reflux disease. Some patients also have congenital scarring (sulcus vocalis).
This scarring gives patients a chronically hoarse voice with a breathy and strained quality. It also make patients vocally fatigued and can threaten their professional viability.
The UW Health Voice Clinic is a national leader in vocal fold scarring treatment. Surgical improvement of vocal fold scarring is possible with multiple approaches:
- Vocal cord injections are performed under topical anesthesia. The procedure requires a half-hour visit in the office, and patients can drive themselves home the same day.
- Endoscopic proceduresare also performed on an ambulatory basis (minithyrotomy). This procedure allows insertion of implants to help restore normal vocal cord structure and function.
- Thyroplasty, a surgical option in which tissue is used to restore the contour of the vocal cords, creates long-lasting results. This procedure requires patients to have a small neck incision and requires a one-night stay in the hospital.