Steroid Therapy for Benign Vocal Cord Lesions

If voice therapy alone does not alleviate your symptoms or improve vocal cord function, your NYU Langone doctor may recommend the use of corticosteroids. Steroids have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on soft tissue and may reduce swelling and irritation in the vocal cords. Steroids can be taken by mouth in pill form or administered by a doctor, who injects them directly into the vocal cords.

Oral Steroids

Your doctor may decide to complement voice therapy with a course of oral corticosteroids. Oral steroids can reduce swelling in the vocal cords and surrounding soft tissue and may also reduce the size of a benign vocal cord lesion. Pills are typically prescribed for less than one week. Your doctor then reevaluates your vocal cord function and symptoms before recommending further treatment.

Steroid Injection

Occasionally a voice specialist injects a corticosteroid solution directly into your vocal cords in order to administer a higher concentration of medicine. This technique may be more effective than oral steroids in reducing the size of a benign vocal cord lesion, although your doctor can decide the most appropriate application based on your symptoms and anatomy. A steroid injection can be done in your doctor’s office with local anesthesia.

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