What are cysts?
Cysts are benign (non-cancerous), fluid-filled growths that can be present congenitally (since birth) or can be acquired later in life. Cysts typically occur unilaterally (one-sided), but can occur bilaterally (both sides). Cysts occur under the mucosa of the vocal fold and create a stiff segment of the vocal fold.
What are the symptoms of cysts?
Vocal symptoms of cysts can vary depending on the size of the cyst. Patients can vary from mildly dysphonic (hoarse) to severely dysphonic.
How are cysts treated?
The typical treatment for a cyst is surgical removal, because most cysts do not respond to voice therapy. However, a short period of voice therapy before surgery will be recommended if you have a significant amount of vocal fold inflammation and poor voicing patterns, to ensure that you do not quickly re-injure the mechanism due to poor voicing habits. Post-operative voice therapy will likely be recommended as well, to aid in healing of the vocal folds and ensure that proper voice usage is maintained after surgery.