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Vocal Cord Injections

An office-based vocal fold injection is performed to deliver a filler such as a gel or a paste into one or both vocal folds to improve voice production and/or swallowing function.  It is possible also to inject a medicine (drug) into one or both vocal folds to improve voice. An example is the injection of Botulinum Toxin (BOTOX®) into one or both vocal folds in individuals with spasmodic dysphonia or laryngeal tremor.


Who is a candidate for vocal fold injections?


Individuals with

  • Shrinking Vocal Folds due to aging (atrophy)

  • Vocal Cord Paresis or Paralysis  

  • Granulomas of the Vocal Folds (ulcerous masses that affect voice production)

  • Reinke’s Edema (large vocal folds in female smokers that results in a low pitch and rough voice quality)

  • Spasmodic Dysphonia

  • Laryngeal Tremor

  • Vocal Fold Nodules

What is involved in vocal fold injections?

Vocal fold injections usually take less than thirty minutes and can be scheduled as a separate short procedure performed in an outpatient surgical facility. The vocal fold can be accessed through the mouth, through the nose or through the skin of the front of the neck.   A flexible endoscope (camera) is then passed through one of the nasal passages into the throat and down into the esophagus. Air is puffed into the esophagus and stomach which can cause some burping. Individuals can experience discomfort in the nose, the throat and the stomach which stops when the endoscope is removed. Some individuals may feel lightheaded. The camera is then advanced to the end of the esophagus and into the stomach. Video images are taken during the examination to review with the patient at the end of the visit. 




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