Granuloma of the membranous vocal fold: An unusual complication of microlaryngoscopic surgery

Lucian Sulica, C. Blake Simpson, Ryan Branski, Colby McLaurin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: We describe the clinical features of granuloma of the membranous vocal fold (as opposed to granuloma of the vocal processor "contact granuloma"), a poorly recognized sequela of microlaryngoscopic surgery. Membranous vocal fold granuloma may mimic the initial lesion in appearance, and thus be mistaken for recurrence. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of cases from 2 institutions. Results: Fifteen cases of membranous vocal fold granuloma from 2 institutions were identified. In all but 1 case, granuloma developed in the early postoperative period, within 8 weeks. Of the 15 cases, 10 followed laser resection of carcinoma. Five were noted following cold steel resection of benign lesions (2 papillomas, 2 cysts, 1 Reinke's edema). Technical aspects of these cases suggest that membranous vocal fold granulomas result from surgical violation of deep tissue planes and/or epithelial defects. All patients were treated with proton pump inhibitors. In 12 cases, the granulomas proved self-limited, resolving over weeks to months following surgery. Three patients underwent surgical removal of the lesion, which confirmed the diagnosis. One of these cases recurred and was treated nonsurgically. Conclusions: Granuloma should be suspected when a mass lesion appears at the surgical site early in the postoperative course. Surgical excision is generally not necessary and may provoke further growth of granulation tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-362
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Granulation tissue
  • Granuloma
  • Microlaryngoscopy
  • Vocal fold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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