Recurrent respiratory papilloma (RRP) are benign lesions that – in the head-and-neck region – predominantly grow inside of the larynx (laryngeal papillomatosis). When they involve the vocal folds, they mostly induce hoarseness. RRP tend to be a chronic problem because proper treatment is not based on radical excision, but mass reduction. However, there are good therapeutic options that we can offer our patients to try to eradicate all papilloma.
Papillomas are benign growths caused by the HPV virus (Human Papilloma Virus), comparable to warts. If the larynx with the vocal folds is affected, one speaks of a larynx papillomatosis (larynx papillomatosis) or laryngeal papillomatosis. This acute voice disorder is one of the rare voice disorders (around 3 out of 100,000 people). Since the papillomas disturb the vibrations of the vocal folds, hoarseness usually occurs at an early stage.
Our voice clinic is highly specialized is diagnosing all reasons and effects of RRP problems and offers state-of-art therapeutical options to regain a mostly normal voice function. Patients come from all over the world for phonosurgical treatment, e.g. photoangiolytic laser surgery with KTP or blue laser, injections, and therapeutic vaccination. We perform surgery in the office or in general anesthesia, both in an ambulatory setting.
As an alternative to removing the papillomas under general anesthesia, an outpatient laser operation with a photoangiolytic laser (KTP laser or blue laser) with superficial spray anesthesia and painlessly can be carried out. The laser is used to cauterize only the blood vessels within the vocal cord and to protect the mucous membrane above it – similar to the dermatological treatment of spider veins in the skin. The sclerosing of the superficial vessels within the vocal fold leads to the papillomas „drying out“ after a few days. This procedure can save the patient multiple general anesthesia.
Papillomas – like warts – can come back even after a complete surgical removal. Many patients require multiple operations. We have developed a treatment concept in which the surgical removal under general anesthesia and / or local anesthesia is combined with the injection of a virostat and other measures and with which we have had very good experiences.