The most common vocal fold growths are nodules, polyps and cysts.
Diagnosis is made by taking a history of the voice problem and by physical examination. Your specialist may pass a nasoendoscope through the nose down to the voice box under local anaesthesia.
A more detailed examination is sometimes needed using videostroboscopy. In this procedure, a rigid telescope tube with a stroboscopic light is passed through the mouth (after spraying the throat with anaesthetic) to view the voice box.
Other medical conditions that can contribute to the voice problem such as acid reflux, allergic rhinitis (sensitive nose) and sinusitis may need to be evaluated separately.
Treatment includes voice rest, management of aggravating factors (e.g. acid reflux and allergic rhinitis), and sometimes voice therapy with a speech therapist. Many benign vocal fold growths resolve with conservative management. If the growth persists or there is doubt about its nature, then phono-microsurgery may be advocated.
Phono-microsurgery is surgery to the vocal fold using microsurgical techniques and instruments, and sometimes lasers. This surgery may be recommended to improve the voice or remove a growth for laboratory analysis. If a lesion proves to be cancerous, further treatment will be required.