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Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis



Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a disease mediated by the human papilloma virus (HPV).  It presents with a papillomatous or warty growth most commonly in the larynx, but it can also occur in the trachea, the oral cavity, and oropharynx.  It is most commonly found in children that are found to have hoarseness, but occasionally come to the doctor with difficulty breathing because the papillomas are so large.  Adult patients present most commonly with hoarseness.


There is no cure for RRP.  The treatment is periodic surgical debridement with the intention that the patient will eventually overcome or outgrow the disease. Children often require several dozen debridements in the operating room before they overcome the RRP.


More recently, advances have been made in the clinic setting that make laser treatment of papillomas possible, as seen in the video.  Several supplemental therapies have been tried to reduce the recurrence of papillomas.  Some of the more popular current therapies include cidofovir and avastin.  Your doctor can discuss the possible roles of these therapies in your case.


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