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What is it?

A gel, paste or medicine is injected into your vocal cords. There are many reasons to have this treatment, such as: vocal cord paralysis or immobility, spasmodic vocal cords and vocal cords that don’t vibrate well. 

Getting Ready

The visit takes about 30 minutes. 

Please bring this teaching handout with you to your visit.

Do not eat or drink for 3 hours before the injection. This includes no water, coffee, or juices.

During the Treatment

The treatment can be done in different ways. This depends on what gel, paste or medicine is being used. A camera called an endoscope is passed through your mouth or nose to the vocal folds to guide the injection. The injection is then done through the nose or mouth. In some cases, the camera is passed through your nose, but the injection is done though your neck.

You will get numbing medicine to help prevent you from gagging and to help improve your comfort. 

After the Procedure

Do not eat or drink for at least 1 hour. This gives the numbing medicine time to wear off. During this time your swallowing will return to normal.

You can expect blood-tinged mucous. This is normal. Avoid coughing or clearing of the throat. Doing this may irritate the tissue that has been injected.

Do not smoke. Smoking will irritate your throat and cause secretions. 

Pain Relief

You may have throat pain after the numbing medicine wears off. If you need medicine for pain relief, use acetaminophen (Tylenol®) as needed. Follow the directions on the bottle. 

If you have a sore throat, drink plenty of liquids. Do not gargle. Eat only soft bland foods until your sore throat is gone. 

Your Voice

Your doctor or speech language pathologist will talk to you about when it is okay to use your voice.  

You may be hoarse and your voice may be worse for a while. This is normal and goes away with time. Do not whisper as this causes strain on your vocal cords. 

When to Call 

  • Shortness of breath or can’t get your breath. Call 911. Go to the nearest ER.

  • Severe trouble swallowing.

  • Coughing up large blood clots.

  • A fever greater that 101.5ºF (taken by mouth).

  • Any feeling that you are not getting better like you should.

  • You have pain that doesn’t go away with medicine.

Who to Call

Otolaryngology (ENT) Clinic

Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm: 

(608) 263-6190 or 1-800-323-8942.

After hours, you will speak with the paging operator. Ask for the ENT doctor on call. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

If your procedure was done at 1 S. Park, please call 608-287-2500

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.