Caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) causes tumors (papillomas) to grow in the respiratory tract, including the vocal cords. As the papillomas grow, they can interfere with the normal vibrations of the vocal cords, causing hoarseness.
RRP can be formally diagnosed in the operating room with a biopsy procedure. However, because RRP has a very characteristic appearance, an examination in the office with one of our laryngologists can identify RRP as the most likely diagnosis.
The tumors (or papillomas) are typically removed or debulked either surgically or with in-office laser treatments, but the tumors often grow back. Therefore, it is common for some patients to need repeat procedures. Research is ongoing to investigate various systemic treatments to help decrease the tumor burden of papillomatosis.
If you have concerns regarding laryngeal papillomatosis, we can help. To schedule an appointment with one of our laryngologists, or for more information about our services, call 214-645-8300.