Recurrent Respiratory Papilloma

Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), or simply "papilloma" or "laryngeal papilloma," is a condition caused by a relatively common virus (HPV or Human Papilloma Virus.) An infection with HPV causes lumpy growths to form on the vocal cords. These growths are not cancerous but, in their extreme form, can cause some difficulty with breathing. Typically, the growths are small and cause a mild or moderate dysphonia (hoarseness.)  While there is no current cure for patients with recurrent respiratory papilloma or RRP, there are several treatment strategies that effectively control this disease. 

The mainstay of therapy for recurrent respiratory papilloma involves using a laser to remove the wart-like growths. If the number of growths is small, or if most of it has been removed already in the operating room, we are able to use either the C02 laser or the pulsed-KTP laser in the clinic. We use our transnasal telescope after the administration of topical anesthesia only. This has the advantage of being speedy, safe, well tolerated, and avoids general anesthesia. 

Cidofovir is an antiviral medication that was not designed specifically for the Human Papilloma Virus, but there is good evidence supporting its use in some cases of RRP. This medication tends not to cure the papilloma, but rather extends the time between future treatments. Because these lesions tend to recur (thus the name), it can be frustrating for both the patient and the surgeon. As our strategies for managing this condition become less invasive, the disruption to our patient's life is minimized.  

Make an Appointment

If you are suffering from recurrent respiratory papilloma (RRP) call 716-WAKE or request an appointment online.

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Last Updated: 08-28-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.