Vocal cord polyp

Vocal fold polyp is a clearly demarcated mass usually found at the midpoint the vocal cord and are not cancerous or pre cancerous in nature. The phonotrauma or the physical stresses on the vocal fold due to heavy voice or voice use under adverse circumstances can be the reason for the typical location. Polyps on throat may be the result of localized bleeding from the ruptured small blood vessels of the vocal folds. A polyp is a reddish lesion with abrupt margin and is different from surrounding tissue. Polyps may occur singly or in pairs, one on each vocal fold directly opposite one another. The position of polyp will be always at the midpoint of the vocal fold.

Exceptional polyps overgrow due to repeated trauma. Any lesion that enlarges rapidly cannot be considered as a polyp and should be removed. It can cause a wide range of voice disturbances depending on the nature of the polyp.

The major symptom of polyps is painless hoarseness. The hoarseness is the result of irregularities in vocal fold closure as well as irregularities in vibration. In some cases it causes only intermittent voice breaks or may be accompanied by a feel of trapped foreign body at the level of the vocal folds.

Vocal cord therapy includes voice rest, to improve the voice, but it will not remove polyp. Voice therapy is the best choice especially in the case of a small lesion; these minimize the effect of the polyp and restore good voice. Depending on the degree of disability patient may be advised for a microlaryngoscopic surgery. The recurrence of another polyp is extremely low after surgery and voice therapy.

Vocal cord cyst

Vocal cord cysts are firm masses of tissue contained in a sac and are surrounded by a membrane. The cysts get settled near the surface of the vocal cord or deeper, near the ligament of the vocal cord. The degree of disruption of vocal cord vibration and the severity of hoarseness or other voice problem depends on the size and location of the cyst. The vocal cysts may result from the blocked mucous glands. The irritation of the vocal folds makes them vulnerable to clogging. The phonotrauma or the physical stress due to abuse of voice use, may also contribute to the formation of cyst. Depending on the origin vocal cord cysts are divided in to two; Mucus retention cysts, originates from the blocked glands and Epidermoid cysts due to developmental problems. Cysts are not precancerous or cancerous lesions. The symptoms experienced due to vocal cord cysts include: hoarseness, pain, fatigue and a sudden loss of voice. Vocal cysts can deteriorate the quality of human speech production. Females are more prone to develop vocal fold cysts and the size of the cyst is affected by the menstrual cycle. The cysts are seen on one side of the vocal fold but due to irritation it may cause swelling on the opposite side.

Very rarely, a cyst may resolve on its own when the blockage that led to the accumulation of fluid resolves and the cyst drains. Initial therapy involves vocal training and speech therapy in conjunction with medical interventions to decrease irritation of the cyst. Voice rest may improve the voice to some level, but the cyst will not usually shrink. In some cases, enlarged cyst necessitates surgery to remove the cyst. Surgery followed by voice therapy is the most commonly recommended treatment for vocal cord cysts that significantly limit voice. Surgical methods like microlaryngoscopic surgery remove the entire cyst, since incomplete removal may lead to recurrence.
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