Hoarseness and changes of the voice can significantly affect how patients work and live.  Since speaking is one of the most often used forms of communication, the ability to use one’s voice is extremely important.  Those who use their voices professionally, such as singers or teachers, may be unable to work or struggle at work when suffering from changes in their voice.  

Vocal cord polyp

Small polyp that was not seen on endoscopy, but was noted on stroboscopy. The patient underwent surgical excision.

There are various ways to evaluate the vocal cords to determine the cause of the problem.  A mirror or a flexible endoscope allows visualization of the structure and basic function of the vocal cords to determine if there are polyps, nodules, cysts, tumors or paralysis that are affecting the function of the vocal cords.

Sometimes, however, the cause of the hoarseness cannot be determined by these methods.  A stroboscopy exam can then be used to further evaluate the function of the vocal cords.  For this procedure, a strobe light is synchronized to the frequency of the vocal pitch.  This allows a “slow motion” view of the vocal cords to better assess the mucosal wave of the vocal cords.  It can detect very subtle problems, such as vibratory changes from stiffness or scarring of the vocal cords, which can help guide therapy or surgical management.

Dr. Rebecca Golgert is pleased to bring this technology to her office. Any patient with hoarseness lasting more than a few weeks should have an evaluation of the vocal cords.  If you suffer from voice changes or hoarseness, call Dr. Golgert’s office today to schedule an appointment.