What are they?
Vocal fold nodules, sometimes called “nodes”, are benign fibrovascular changes to the surface of the vocal folds related to collisional forces exerted during voice production (“phonotrauma”). Vocal fold nodules can be thought of as “calluses” of the vocal folds and typically arise in the center of the primary area of voice production as 2 symmetric, small bumps. Patients often describe a raspy voice, difficulty with higher pitches or reduced pitch range, and/or poor pitch control with nodules.
How are they treated?
Patients not meeting their vocal demands due to nodules are treated with voice therapy. Voice therapy optimizes voice and speech production to minimize the negative impact nodules can have on voice production. Sometimes patients undergo voice therapy and continue to be vocally hindered. In this scenario, surgical excision can provide an opportunity for patients to regain their voice.