Granuloma

A vocal cord granuloma is an inflammatory growth. Vocal cord granulomas typically occur on the back, or posterior, portion of the vocal folds.

Causes of a vocal cord granuloma may include:Vocal cord granuloma

  • Chronic voice overuse
  • Voice misuse
  • Intubation – placement of a breathing tube through the vocal folds can cause formation of granulomas
  • Vocal fold weakness – with strain, vocal process granuloma can occur

Symptoms of vocal cord granulomas include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Rough voice
  • Vocal fatigue, or tiring with overuse
  • Chronic cough 
  • Tickle in the throat

Diagnosis:

Diangosis of a vocal cord granuloma is made during laryngoscopy and stroboscopy.

Bilateral vocal fold granulomas                        

Left: Granulomas on both vocal cords causing hoarseness. This occurred after intubation.

Right: Vocal cords after steroid injections - granulomas have resolved.  The patient's voice returned back to normal. 

Treatment for a vocal cord granuloma:

A vocal fold granuloma is first treated with voice rest, often times for weeks. This causes less stress on the vocal folds, allowing granulomas to heal.

A steroid injection into the granuloma may help decrease the size of the granuloma. This may be performed as an in-office procedure.

During surgery a granuloma may be easily removed. However, granulomas often quickly recur despite excision – thus surgery is reserved only for special situations.