Vocal Fold Polyp
What is it?
A vocal fold polyp is a benign, soft growth. Polyps are typically on one vocal fold and located in the primary region of voice production related to the collisional forces of voice production (“phonotrauma”). Some polyps have associated blood vessels that can bleed into the vocal fold (hemorrhagic polyp), which can acutely worsen a patient’s dysphonia. Other polyps do not have abnormal blood vessels or bleeding (non-hemorrhagic polyp). Patients often describe a raspy voice, difficulty with higher pitches or reduced range, and/or poor pitch control with with polyps.
How is it treated?
While voice therapy can often be an option to optimize voice production, vocal fold polyps typically require surgical intervention to rehabilitate the voice. Some polyps are amenable to office-based photoangiolytic laser therapy, while others are better treated with phonomicrosurgical excision in the operating room. Prominent blood vessels associated with vocal fold polyps can be treated with the photoangiolytic laser to reduce chances for recurrence.