Vocal Cord Polyp

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Vocal Cord Polyp

Vocal Cord Polyp

What is Vocal Cord Polyp?

Tumor-like lesions filled with fluid, which is formed on tissues covered with structures of mucous in the body and develop by holding on to the tissue is called Polyp. Polyps that are not treated cause major and important health problems in time. They are visible in many regions such as nose, throat, vocal cords, intestines, gall bladder, and uterus. Although they are generally benign, there are also malign types with a risk of canceration. They hold on to the tissue on which they are formed with either a small pedicle or a wide base. They can be in different sizes. They can heal themselves. As they grow in size, the severity of the complaints they cause increases, so they are removed through surgical intervention.

The lesion of benign tissue filled with liquid and usually caused by intratissue hemorrhage in the middle of the free surface where the vocal cords come into contact, preventing the vocal cords from closing is called Vocal Cord Polyp. It can either occur as a result of long-term use of the voice at the wrong intensity and pitch or its excessive use by force, as in nodules, or it can occur by straining only one voice cord. Unlike nodules, this may occur in one or both of the voice cords. It has distinctively red appearance. It contains many blood vessels and the progression develops towards a vascularized structure. It may occur in different shapes and sizes, but it is usually larger than nodules and looks like bubbles.


Reinke's Edema (Polypoid Degeneration) is another type of vocal cord polyp which is seen in all individuals but more common in women, and has a symptom of deep voice. Excessive smoking is its most important factor.

Factors such as excessive use of voice, common cold, sudden shouting, intense smoke, working in excessively noisy environments, routine alcohol use, sinusitis, allergies, thyroid gland enlargement, and drug side effects facilitate the formation of vocal cord polyps.

It is more common in singers, lecturers, teachers, announcers, commentators, preaching reverends, and people who like to speak much. Although it is seen in men, women and children, it is more common in women between the ages of 20 and 50 and children who have a habit of talking loudly, due to the structure of the larynx.

What are the Symptoms of Vocal Cord Polyps?

Although the symptoms differ from person to person, the vocal cord polyp should be suspected when one or more of the following symptoms are seen:

Voice changes such as hoarseness and voice crack,

Changes in tone of voice during speech,

Distortion of voice quality,

Unrest and ache in throat,

If no treatment is administered for vocal cord polyps, it may cause irrevocable problems such as scar formation in the vocal cord, painful voice, and permanent hoarseness.

To understand whether the complaints arise from vocal cord polyp, in-depth examination of vocal cords should be carried out by an ear, nose and throat specialist. Endoscopic examination through the mouth area allows making the most accurate diagnosis.

Medication treatment is primarily administered for polyps caused by medical problems. Voice therapy or surgical intervention method is used for the treatment of vocal cord polyps that are not caused by medical problems. However, there is usually no spontaneous recovery and there is no change in the size of the polyps. Therefore, drug and therapy methods should not be used for long periods. Otherwise, polyps may burst, thus cause permanent damage to the vocal cords. Removing them by surgical intervention is the most appropriate method.

How is Vocal Cord Polyp Surgery Operated?

After a vocal cord polyp is diagnosed, if the patient does not respond to voice rest, medication and voice therapy, a surgical intervention is decided. Endoscopic methods called as Phonomicrosurgery and Microlaryngoscopy that do not require any external incision are used:

Phonomicrosurgery/Microlaryngoscopy: This is a surgical intervention which is administered to cut and remove the polyp when the vocal lesion is big or it is in an area difficult to reach. It is performed under general anesthesia. The vocal cords are reached through the mouth and the polyp is removed without harming the surrounding healthy tissue by use of a laryngoscope and other endoscopic equipment that provide a magnified high quality image. The intervention takes approximately 30-45 minutes. Since no stitch is necessary, the patients can be discharged on the same day. There is no limitation for eating and drinking activities, yet patients are not allowed to whisper or speak in a normal voice for a week so as to rest their voice. They may complain mild sore throat and difficulty in swallowing for maximum one day. Numbness in the tongue and inability to taste caused by the compression of the tongue during the intervention will automatically end within a few weeks.

Since the reason for the formation of the vocal cord polyp is the wrong use of voice, it is highly recommended to receive a voice therapy so that it does not reoccur after the vocal cords are healed.

How Long Does It Take to Recover After Vocal Cord Polyp Surgery?

Vocal cord polyp operations end painlessly and patients are discharged on the same day. Usually one-week voice rest is recommended after the operation. Mild sore throat may occur on the first day, yet it is a temporary condition. Reflux medication and reflux diet may be administered for an approximately two-week period after the operation. At the end of this process, vocal cords are healed.

Speaking After Vocal Cord Polyp Surgery

If patients follow post-operation recommendations and instructions specified by the doctor, there will be no problem in speaking or use of voice. In case of not receiving voice therapy or if the voice is misused, reoccurrence of polyp becomes possible.

If you also have problems such as hoarseness, changes in voice, discomfort and pain in the throat for more than ten days, you can reach us via our contact information below, and get more information and receive treatment in our health center that uses state-of-the-art technology tools and equipment for diagnosis and treatment of vocal cord disorders and priorities your special demands and needs.