Mucus Retention Cyst
SymptomsA mucus retention cyst can cause hoarseness, because it interferes with the normal vibrations of the vocal cords and the accuracy of their match with each other (see the videos below). The cyst is most often unilateral—that is, occurring on one cord but not the other. It appears as a bulge or deformation of the vocal cord’s free margin, and sometimes undersurface, and it may be yellowish in color.
TreatmentThe cyst may be surgically removed, by creating a small incision on the vocal cord and then dissecting the cyst from the cord. Photos of the surgical process can be found below. Also, the two videos below show how removing this kind of cyst can improve the voice.
Excision of a Mucus Retention Cyst that Decompresses during DissectionThis man has had slight hoarseness for many years, possibly related to his self-described highly talkative and loud-spoken nature. His voice took a significant turn for the worse soon after a bout of mild laryngitis, and had remained extremely hoarse for many months. An ENT doctor diagnosed a polyp of his left vocal cord. Instead, this represents a mucus retention cyst. Removal provided dramatic return of clear speaking voice. Seen below is preop, intra-operative sequence, and then the result at 3 months after surgery.
Removal of Mucus Retention Cyst
Mucus-Retention Cyst—not Polyp—Before and After Removal
Mucus Retention Cyst: Before and After
Watch this video to see images and hear audio of a mucus retention cyst’s effect on the vocal cords, followed by the surgical removal and the post-surgical results.
Mucus Retention Cyst II: Before and After
Another example of a mucus retention cyst, with images and audio before, during, and after the cyst’s surgical removal. This video highlights a bit more of the vocal capability battery.