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Conditions We Treat: Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis

Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a condition that involves recurrent wart-like growths on the surface of the vocal cords or tissue around the vocal cords. Caused by specific types of the human papilloma virus (HPV), recurrent respiratory papillomatosis is typically benign, but because the virus persists in the tissue. RRP tends to recur even after the growths are removed.

Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP) | FAQs

Simon Best, M.D., otolaryngology–head and neck surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Voice Center, discusses RRP — its symptoms, how it is diagnosed, the latest surgical treatment options and new, advanced medical care that has shown to help patients with severe cases of RRP.


Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis: What You Need to Know

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  • Growths on the vocal cords often cause voice changes.
  • Very large lesions can cause trouble breathing.
  • RRP can be suspected after a vocal cord exam, but a biopsy is often performed to both confirm the diagnosis of RRP and also to make sure that the lesions show no pre-cancerous changes.
  • Treatment of RRP involves carefully removing the lesions without damaging the underlying components of the vocal cords that allow vibration and voice production.
  • KTP laser treatments and surgery can be used to treat recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

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Why Choose Johns Hopkins for Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis?

Johns Hopkins Voice Center Doctors

Our Physicians

Rely on the expertise of our physicians to treat recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.

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Our Patient Education

Dr. Lee Akst, Director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center, answers some of the most frequently asked questions.

Watch our Voice Center FAQ video.