What is a Vocal Fold Nodule?
Our voice constantly changes from the moment we are born. These changes until death are a natural process. However, fading or distorting the sound is not a natural process. There is definitely an underlying reason. Many factors such as using the voice too much, not using it correctly, smoking, inflammation of the vocal cords (laryngitis), and stomach reflux can cause hoarseness.
One of the most important causes of hoarseness is vocal cord nodule. Vocal cord nodules are benign formations that grow in the inner part of the vocal cord due to vocal trauma. It occurs as a result of excessive and incorrect use of the vocal cords. It is very common in singers, teachers, lawyers and politicians who often have to address the public.
Vocal cords are one of the areas most exposed to trauma in our body. Exposure to constant pressure while speaking may cause nodule formation. You can think of this as a shoe hitting your foot. Imagine constantly wearing shoes that put pressure on the back of your foot. An abrasion and callus forms on the back of your foot. This is how a vocal cord nodule forms.
Vocal Cord Nodule Symptoms
- difference in sound
- Deep and rough voice
- cracked voice
- Although not among the typical symptoms, pain in and around the neck, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty speaking.
If you do not use your voice professionally, you should consult an ENT specialist in case of hoarseness lasting more than 3-4 days. However, people who use their voices professionally, such as voice artists, may not wait this period. The two most appropriate treatment methods for vocal cord nodules are voice therapy and nodule surgery.
With voice therapy, correct use of the voice is ensured. If you have a vocal cord nodule, the most appropriate treatment method is to stop misuse and misuse of the voice. Correct vocal technique is taught to develop habits to use the voice correctly and to prevent excessive pressure on the vocal cords. This training can make the nodules shrink or even disappear completely. On the other hand, it also reduces the risk of recurrence.
Vocal Cord Nodule Surgery
Some nodules may not go away despite voice therapy. If the nodules do not improve despite proper vocal technique, compliance with vocal hygiene rules, and voice therapy, it may be necessary to resort to an operation called phonomicrosurgery. Phonomicrosurgery is a closed surgery method performed under a microscope. When we consider both the surgical process and the postoperative period; Moreover, when we calculate the benefit rate, it is a very comfortable and successful operation. It is performed under general anesthesia. It takes approximately 10-30 minutes on average. It is entered through the mouth with a tube-like instrument called a chest suspension laryngoscope, under the guidance of a microscope, and goes all the way to the larynx. The nodule is held and cut with the help of long, thin instruments under microscope vision. It is a surgery with very little bleeding.