Vocal Cord Granuloma

What is a vocal cord granuloma?

A vocal cord granuloma is a growth of benign inflammatory tissue, usually on the posterior 1/3 of the vocal cord. It is caused by local trauma to the vocal cord from coughing, vocal abuse, or direct mechanical trauma from a breathing tube or surgery.


Granulomas cause pain that can be felt when speaking, laughing, coughing, or singing. They can cause hoarseness or breathiness because they prevent complete closure of the vocal cords. They can also cause a sensation that there is something “stuck” in the throat.


Granulomas may be treated with inhaled steroids, injected steroids (yes you would be asleep for that!) or a special laser to dry up the inflamed tissue and prevent its recurrence. They may be treated with speech therapy or behavioral modification if on evaluation the speech therapist suspects vocal abuse.

Are granulomas cancer?

Granulomas are rarely malignant. Tissue sampling, or a biopsy,  done during surgery can tell whether a granuloma is cancerous or not.