Vocal cord granulomaVocal fold process granulomas are benign growths of inflammatory tissue that are usually found along the back part of the vocal folds where there is cartilage and less protective soft tissue. One or both vocal folds may be affected. 

Causes of Vocal Cord Granuloma

Vocal fold process granulomas may form due to irritation from laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), intubation related trauma (from a breathing tube), or from other abusive/traumatic behaviors such as chronic throat clearing, chronic cough, or shouting/high intensity talking. 

Vocal Fold Process Granuloma Symptoms 

Symptoms may include a “lump” sensation in the throat, chronic throat clearing, and a sharp pain with voicing and/or swallowing on the affected side which may radiate to the ear. If the granuloma is large, breathing and voicing may also be affected. 

Diagnosis of Vocal Cord Granuloma

Our voice care team at the Voice and Swallowing Center has the advanced training and skills necessary to diagnose this voice condition. During the initial visit, you will be assessed by one of our laryngologists and likely, an additional session with one of our voice pathologists. We use cutting-edge diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your voice disorder and to develop your plan of care. Following a thorough discussion of your symptoms and medical history, be expected to undergo the following assessments: 

  • Video Laryngostroboscopy: Using a small camera inserted through the nose or mouth, our specialists are able to assess the health and function of your larynx (voice box) and determine the presence of any vocal fold growths or abnormalities.

  • Perceptual, Acoustic, and Aerodynamic Voice Evaluation: This is a comprehensive assessment of multiple voice parameters completed by the voice pathologist.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Vocal Fold Process Granuloma 

In many cases, vocal fold process granulomas resolve with treatment for any underlying irritants such as LPR, coughing, and throat clearing. Laryngopharyngeal reflux is often managed with dietary and lifestyle modifications and/or prescription medications. Voice therapy with special attention to efficient and healthy voice use will help patients reduce any factors that could be contributing to high impact stress to the vocal folds. If chronic cough or throat clearing is a problem, laryngeal control therapy with one of our voice pathologists may be recommended. 

Surgical Treatment for Vocal Fold Process Granuloma 

Surgical options, including laser treatment, steroid injections, in-office vocal fold injection augmentation, and vocal fold fat injection augmentation are reserved for cases that do not respond to more conservative treatment options.