Description and Cause

Vocal fold polyps are fluid-filled lesion that develop in the superficial layer of the lamina propria (second layer of the vocal fold).  A polyp can have its own blood supply, vary in size and shape and have the potential to grow quite large.  Polyps typically form only on one side, but can form on both sides of the vocal folds.  The cause is thought to be from acute vocal trauma or from phonotraumatic behaviors.  Polyps can even occur from a single traumatic incident.

Perceptual Signs and Symptoms

  • Mild to severe voice problem
    • Hoarseness (of varying degree)
    • Roughness
    • Breathiness
    • Globus sensation (sensation of a lump in the throat)
    • Effortful production of sound 
    • Loss of vocal endurance
    • Loss of vocal range
    • May cause difficulty breathing depending upon the size and location

Visual Assessment

  • Hourglass vocal fold closure pattern
  • Reduced vibratory characteristics of the vocal folds
  • May appear firm


  • Vocal hygiene
  • Behavioral voice therapy
  • oMedical
  • Surgery