Lipoma is a benign fatty tumor that can occur in any part of the body. On the neck or some other unseen part of the body, it does not require removal. But in the larynx, slow enlargement may disturb voice or even breathing, and therefore these tumors need to be removed. Removal needs to be complete to prevent re-enlargement.

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Larynx Lipoma (1 of 7)

This extremely hoarse man underwent unsuccessful attempt elsewhere to remove this submucosal mass bulging the left vocal cord (right of photo). It is a lipoma (benign fatty tumor).

CT image of tumor (2 of 7)

This coronal CT image shows the large tumor (radiolucent (black) lesion at the arrow). This tumor was removed definitively via a small neck incision. The intent was to make a small thyroid cartilage window to be sure of complete removal, but instead, the entire mass was able to be teased out through the cricothyroid space.

Lipoma removed (3 of 7)

A few weeks after removal of the mass. The patient’s voice is virtually normal. Note that the bulge of the left vocal cord (right of photo) is mostly gone, with residual swelling due to recent surgery.

Cords match (4 of 7)

When the patient produces voice, the cords match (straight dark line), explaining why his voice is now “normal.”

CT image 6 months after surgery (5 of 7)

CT image, taken 6 months after removal of the lipoma. Compare with photo 2.

No sign of lipoma (6 of 7)

Three years after removal, there is no sign of recurrence. Compare with image 3, obtained weeks after removal.

During phonation (7 of 7)

During phonation, three years after removal. Compare with image 4.