Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What is a laryngocele?

A laryngocele is an air filled mass of the larynx, connecting to the lumen of the larynx through the ventricle. The ventricle is the space above the vocal cords and below the false vocal cords. The anterior part of the ventricle, called the saccule, can become enlarged and filled with air and/or mucus.

Laryngoceles can be confined within the voice box (internal laryngocele) or may extend beyond the larynx into the neck (external laryngocele) through the thyrohyoid membrane.

The image to the left is an example of an external laryngopyelocele. The mass (green arrow) is extending outside of the larynx into the neck. Laryngoceles can be associated with cancer of the larynx, and with certain occupations associated with blowing. These include horn players and glass blowers.

Treatment consists of surgery, either externally (through the neck) or endoscopically (through the mouth).
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