Smoker’s Polyps

Diffuse swelling of the vocal cords, due to build-up of edema fluid within the mucosa. Smoker’s polyps are also referred to as Reinke’s edema or polypoid degeneration.

Audio with photos:

Voice sample of a patient with smoker’s polyps, BEFORE surgery (see this patient’s photos just below):

Same patient, two months AFTER surgery (the occasional syllable dropouts are due to the recentness of surgery):



Reinke’s (smoking-related) edema and how to see it: Series of 4 photos

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress
Abducted, breathing position of vocal cords

Convexed vocal cords (1 of 4)

Abducted, breathing position. Note that the margin of both vocal cords is slightly convex. See dotted line for normal, perfectly straight margin.
Inspiratory phonation

Inspiratory phonation (2 of 4)

Inspiratory phonation in-draws the mild Reinke’s edema (smoker’s type polyp formation).
Open phase, faint translucency

Open phase, faint translucency (3 of 4)

Strobe illumination, at E4 (approximately 330 Hz), mostly open phase.
Closed phase, faint translucency

Closed phase, faint translucency (4 of 4)

Note again in closed phase.



Smoker’s Polyps (aka Polypoid Degeneration or Reinke’s Edema)
This video illustrates how smoker’s polyps can be seen more easily when the patient makes voice while breathing in (called inspiratory phonation). During inspiratory phonation, the polyps are drawn inward and become easier to identify.