Vocal Fold Masses
A vocal mass is any growth that occurs on the vocal cords. This may include:
It is not uncommon to have patients come to the Voice Center, having been told they have “nodes/nodules” Contrary to popular belief, nodules are not common.
Misdiagnosis often occurs because the low‐resolution pictures that a general otolaryngologist is able to obtain make diagnosis of your vocal problem difficult. Without the right training and expertise, all bumps on the vocal folds are called nodules and a patient walks away with the wrong diagnosis. This may lead to incorrect treatment plans and worsening of the problem.
The bumps are barely visible when viewed through the flexible laryngoscope (left), which is the scope that most general otolaryngologists use. However, when the same exact patient is correctly assessed with videostroboscopy (right), the true nature of the masses (polyps) become clear even to an untrained eye. The treatments for these two lesions are completely different.
At the Voice Center, our specially trained physicians examine your vocal folds under a much higher magnification and with a highly‐specialized technology called videostroboscopy. This exam is centered around your voice, and evaluating the true nature of your problem. All too often, we see patients who have been suffering for years under a misdiagnosis that was based on poorer technology and visualization.
The most important thing before pursuing treatment for your vocal fold nodules is to make sure that you have the right diagnosis. Once you have confirmed this, luckily, these lesions frequently respond to non‐surgical treatment.
Polyps are collections of fluid that form on the vocal cord edge. These are due to vocal trauma and will cause significant voice symptoms. Vocal range will decrease and the speaking voice is often hoarse as well.
More information on all these pathologies may be found at https://www.voicedoctorla.com.