Types of Vocal Cord Lesions
If you’ve just recently been told that you have vocal fold lesions (often referred to as vocal cord lesions) you may be a bit nervous, but rest assured that these are completely benign growths. Surprisingly enough, vocal fold lesions are actually one of the most common causes of vocal issues. Vocal fold lesions can appear in three different forms: cysts, polyps and nodules.
Polyps can form on either one or both sides of the vocal cords and can develop in many different sizes and shapes.
These hard masses can form either right on the surface of the vocal cords or deeper within the tissue. Since these cysts can form in different areas of the vocal cords, this often causes hoarseness and other vocal problems.
Sometimes known as singer’s nodes, these calluses usually form on both sides of the vocal cords. Most of the time, these calluses will go away once vocal cord overuse has stopped.
While rest and therapy are two treatment options for benign vocal cord lesions, surgery is also a common treatment. Whether surgery is appropriate for you will depend on the severity or your vocal symptoms and how they affect your everyday life. While professional singers or speakers may undergo therapy to improve their voice they may still require surgery in order for their voice to be fully restored.
Patients may also choose to get vocal surgery if the lesions are large or chronic. The purpose of surgery is to fully remove the nodule or polyp from your vocal cords to eliminate hoarseness and other vocal issues you are experiencing. With minimally invasive laser technology it is easy to remove lesions from the vocal cords while the patient is under anesthesia. Laser surgery reduces your chances of post-procedural symptoms and also offers a faster recovery than traditional surgery.
When Dr. Siegel isn’t here in the office he is also a practicing physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he provides a full range of otolaryngology services.