PAPILLOMA

Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a disease in which papilloma, or wart-like tissues, grow over previously normal throat structures including the vocal folds. Papillomas are caused by a strain of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – other strains of the same virus are responsible for warts, cervical cancer in females, and some forms of head and neck cancer. Although many people are infected with the human papilloma virus, only some individuals have vocal fold (cord) papillomas. The reason for this is unknown. While papillomas mostly occur along the surfaces of the vocal folds they can spread to involve tissues of the mouth, throat, nose, trachea and lungs.

papilloma-Voice and Swallowing Doctor - Sunil Verma MD

Papilloma on both vocal folds.

papilloma-Voice and Swallowing Doctor - Sunil Verma MD

Papilloma on the upper, or anterior, portion of both vocal folds. Note the transition to normal epithelium posteriorly.

papilloma-Voice and Swallowing Doctor - Sunil Verma MD

Papilloma occluding almost the entire trachea, causing this patient severe shortness of breath.

Symptoms of Papillomatosis:

  • Hoarseness or voice changes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Coughing of blood
  • Nasal obstruction

Diagnosis
Papillomatosis is diagnosed with laryngoscopy, in which a camera is either placed in the nose or the mouth to evaluate the vocal folds. Bronchoscopy and esophagoscopy can help determine if the disease has spread to other parts of the body.

If a lesion is seen, a biopsy is performed. Laryngoscopy with biopsy can be performed either in the office or in the operating room. This procedure provides tissue which is analyzed for analysis.

Vocal Fold Papilloma Treatment
Vocal cord papillomatosis are treated with surgery. Traditionally, surgery is performed in the operating room in which a patient is asleep. A laryngoscope is placed through the mouth while laser and other instruments may be used to remove the disease. The carbon dioxide laser is used by many doctors for management of disease. This laser is used both to cut papilloma off of the vocal folds and to vaporize papilloma as well. Fine instruments such as scissors and forceps are used to remove small amounts of tissue in a very controlled fashion.

Dr-Verma - Voice and Swallowing Doctor - Sunil Verma MD

Throatdisorder.com is an online resource for patients and physicians to learn more about common voice, swallowing, breathing and throat disorders. Throat complaints, from cough to cancer, are a common reason for patients to seek medical treatment. This website developed as a result of Dr. Sunil Verma's passions: that of education, patient care, and interest in technology.

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NOTE : The information presented on this site is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified physician. It may not be appropriate to your individual case, and should not be used in making treatment decisions, especially with regard to medication. Considerable effort is made to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, but medicine is a changing field, and this website is not responsible for errors or omissions. Use of this website acknowledges the above.

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