Sunday, March 25, 2012

Vocal Cord Polyps and Nodules


Phonotrauma (overuse of the vocal cords) leads to mechanical stress and occasionally results in callouses (nodules) or larger growths (polyps). The difference between a polyp and nodule is sometimes arbitrary. A large nodule is a small polyp, and vice versa. In this photo, some might characterize the left vocal fold lesion (left side of the photo) as a large nodule, while the right sided vocal fold lesion might be considered a small polyp.

Both types of growth result from vocal overuse. In general, nodules have a change of decreasing in size and even disappearing if the phonotraumatic behavior is eliminated. Whereas polyps rarely disappear without surgery. In this case, I doubt either of these vocal fold lesions would regress with voice rest or voice therapy. Hence surgery was recommended.

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