A cordectomy is a procedure in which all or part of the vocal cords are removed, often as a form of treatment for malignant laryngeal tumors. Most often, the procedure is performed when the tumor is small or located only on the surface tissues of the vocal cord. BSSNY neurosurgeons typically perform the procedure with the assistance of a laser.
When only part of the vocal cords is removed, a patient will likely experience hoarseness or a loss of vocal range. Following a total cordectomy, during which all of the vocal cords are removed, the patient will likely be unable to produce most vocal sounds. However, patients almost always can speak in whispers following these procedures.