Vocal Fold Scar refers to damage to the vocal fold, thus limiting and altering the vibration of the outer layer. This change in vibration of the vocal fold leads to a hoarse voice. Scarring is usually caused by surgery, trauma, radiation therapy or diseases of the larynx.
Vocal Fold Scars result in painless hoarseness. The extent of hoarseness depends on the size of the scar. Voice fatigue and an increase effort to talk are also seen.
When performing vocal fold surgery for other pathologies, it is essential to take every measure to minimize the risk of scar formation before and after surgery. This includes voice therapy to eliminate harmful vocal habits, controlling acid reflux and avoiding smoking. During surgery, every effort must be made to preserve normal tissue and to avoid trauma to surrounding tissue that is unaffected by the lesion being operated on. In addition, voice rest after vocal fold surgery helps to reduce scar formation.
Voice therapy is the most effective first step in treating existing Vocal Fold Scars. If the scar is fresh, it often improves with voice therapy. Surgical intervention for scars carries a high risk, and may make the scar, and voice, worse. Surgery must therefore be considered very carefully and only performed for patients who have failed all other options