Vocal fold cysts are benign lesions that are found inside the lining of the vocal cord. They are often congenital meaning they were acquired during fetal development. As a result, they may have been present since birth and are only noticed when they have an adverse effect on the voice.

Vocal chord cyst

These lesions are often appreciated by patients after a change in vocal quality, e.g. hoarseness, raspiness, etc., due to disruption of the normal fluid wave that occurs along the vocal fold when making sound. The diagnosis is made by taking a complete history and carefully examining the vocal cords either by flexible laryngoscopy (a flexible camera placed through the nose) or a videostroboscopy (a flexible or rigid exam of the vocal cords which allows for examination of the vocal fold mucosal wave).Management varies based on the size of the lesion and its effect on the patient’s ability to meet vocal demands. Initial therapy may include referral to a Speech- Language Pathologist for voice therapy, which helps educate patients on more efficient use of their voicebox. If patients cannot meet their demands following voice therapy or the lesions are not appropriate for voice therapy alone, surgery is offered to remove the lesions while preserving the maximal amount of normal vocal fold resulting in improved vocal function.

The information contained on this website is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose and/or dictate treatment for any disease process. Please consult your physician for management tailored to your specific condition.