Vocal Fold Hemorrhage

What is it?
Vocal fold hemorrhage is a result of bleeding of a blood vessel into the vocal fold that causes temporary inflammation and stiffness.  Such bleeds are often caused by collisional forces of voice production (“phonotrauma”).  They can be associated with abnormal blood vessel formation and, sometimes, with vocal fold polyps (hemorrhagic polyp).  Patients describe sudden raspiness, pitch breaks, poor range, and lack of control over their voice with a vocal fold hemorrhage.

How is it treated?
Acute vocal fold hemorrhage is treated with complete voice rest to allow the blood to resorb.  If there are no abnormal blood vessels or polyps and there has been only a single bleeding episode, patients can be observed.  If there are abnormal blood vessels or polyps associated, these can be treated in an office-based or operating room setting, depending on the particular lesion and scenario.