Doctors remove vocal cord polyps by cold-knife microsurgical excision or laser removal, according to Merck Manuals. Laser excision uses a carbon dioxide laser, a pulsed dye laser or a potassium titanyl potassium laser, states PubMed Central.
A doctor generally performs cold-knife microsurgical excision and carbon dioxide laser removal in the operating room with an intubated patient under general anesthesia, explains Voicedoctor.net. He anesthetizes the patient and secures the airway with a laryngoscope or by inserting a tube for endotracheal intubation, notes Merck Manuals. The doctor may perform a tracheotomy to secure an inadequate upper airway. Using direct microlaryngoscopy, he removes the polyp.
With cold-knife excision, the doctor holds the polyp with long, delicate forceps and removes it using microscissors, states Voicedoctor.net. He can also perform other procedures, such as cutting away scar tissue, implanting fat or taking a biopsy. The doctor may use a carbon dioxide laser to excise the polyp, asserts PubMed Central. This method is accurate and efficient.
Pulsed dye laser and potassium titanyl potassium laser treatments are office-based procedures that involve local anesthesia, minimal pain and no cutting, according to Fauquier Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants of Virginia. The doctor inserts a flexible endoscopic laser through the nose and positions it above the voice box. The laser fires several times, and the mass melts away. One disadvantage with this method is that the doctor cannot perform a biopsy to evaluate the polyp.