Capillary ectasia is the enlargement or dilation of capillaries on the surface of the vocal cords. Some believe it to be an estrogen effect similar to “spider veins” that one might see on the legs, for example. At our practice we think of these as mainly being another manifestation of overuse of the voice, and a response to ongoing injury of the vocal cords.
Once established, it may cause symptoms of reduced vocal endurance and exaggerated premenstrual huskiness. Capillary ectasia may also increase the risk of vocal cord bruising (hemorrhage) and hemorrhagic polyp formation. Many affected individuals, however, may “coexist” with this when armed with appropriate information about this disorder and through carefully managing amount and manner of voice use. When indicated, it is easily corrected via vocal cord microsurgery.
Photos of capillary ectasia:
Capillary Ectasia, before and after Laser Coagulation
Capillary Ectasia and Hemorrhagic Polyp, before and after Treatment
Capillary Ectasia with Vocal Nodules
Capillary Ectasia, Before and After Laser Coagulation
Capillary Ectasia and Hemorrhagic Polyp
Vocal Nodules, Leukoplakia, and Capillary Ectasia
Capillary Ectasia and Hemorrhagic Polyp, Treated by Thulium Laser
Capillary Lake and KTP
Choral Singer’s Voice Fully Restored
Red Herring Capillary Ectasia and Mucosal Injuries
Ask Both Voice (via vocal phenomenology) and Larynx (via a motivated examination) to Give up their Secrets
The Evolution of Vocal Cord Bruising and Emergence of a Vulnerable Capillary
Pulsed KTP Laser Treatment of Vascular Abnormalities in a Singer
Capillary ectasia (including KTP laser treatment)
This video illustrates the various causes of capillary ectasia and the treatment options that are available to patients, including pulsed-KTP laser treatment.
Nodules and Other Vocal Cord Injuries: How They Occur and Can Be Treated
This video explains how nodules and other vocal cord injuries occur: by excessive vibration of the vocal cords, which happens with vocal overuse. Having laid that foundational understanding, the video goes on to explore the roles of treatment options like voice therapy and vocal cord microsurgery.