Vocal Cord Nodules, Polyps, and Cysts

Janis Deane, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, performing laryngeal massage.

Vocal cord nodules, polyps, and cysts are growths commonly caused by vocal overuse, misuse, or abuse. This causes growths to develop on the vocal cords.

  • Nodules typically appear on both vocal cords.
  • Vocal cord polyps resemble blisters and typically appear on one vocal cord.
  • Vocal cord cysts are fluid-filled sacs of varying sizes and locations. These also appear on one vocal cord.

Symptoms of Vocal Cord Nodules, Polyps, and Cysts

Vocal cord nodules, polyps, and cysts can cause:

  • A lump in the throat sensation
  • Breathiness
  • Hoarseness
  • Neck pain
  • Rough or scratchy voice

Evaluating Vocal Cord Nodules, Polyps, and Cysts

A fellowship-trained laryngologist and speech pathologist will use fiber-optic technology and a stroboscope to visualize the larynx and vocal cords. 

Videostroboscopy provides a magnified, slow-motion view of your vocal cords, which allows laryngologists to better diagnose voice problems over traditional endoscopic methods.

The procedure involves placing a telescope-like device on the tongue or passing a flexible version through the nose. The scope shines a strobe light on the vocal cords while you make sounds. The recorded exam, which is reviewed with you, offers specific details regarding the vocal cord vibratory pattern, and allows the laryngologist or speech pathologist to observe specific abnormalities of the vocal cords.

Laryngologists consider stroboscopy to be essential for state-of-the-art management of voice disorders.

Treating Vocal Cord Nodules, Polyps, and Cysts

Nodules, polyps, and cysts may often be treated through a combination of medical and behavioral interventions. Some may require surgical intervention for removal.

Request an Appointment

If you experience any change in your voice that is impacting your livelihood, we can help. To schedule an appointment with one of our laryngologists, or for more information about our services, call 214-645-8300.