October 23, 2011

How do Vocal Cord Cysts, Polyps, and Nodules Form?

There are MANY theories as to how vocal cord cystspolyps, and nodules form. However, one theory that seems to make the most sense to me deals with how the vocal cord heals after a traumatic event (ie, screaming, yelling, coughing, etc).

With a cyst, the mucosal vocal cord lining breaks down and during the healing process a cyst develops due to entrapped cells meant for creating lining. A polyp, however, is in essence a blistering of the vocal cord lining. Vocal cord nodule for comparison's sake is just callous thickening of the vocal cord lining that occurs over time.

To use human skin as an analogy...

A vocal cord cyst is like a sebaceous cyst that commonly occurs under the skin of the face or neck (a pimple, but no opening to the surface).

A vocal cord polyp is like a blister that forms on the hand if you shovel dirt too much.

A vocal cord nodule is like a callous that forms after prolonged repetitive skin trauma (like callous on the hands after shoveling dirt for years).

Read more about vocal cord cysts, polyps, and nodules!

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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