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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Throat Polyps
October 2001

Q. My father has recurring trouble with throat polyps for the last three years. He has had two surgeries to have the polyps removed and each time the polyps have returned within 3-4 months. He has been told that it is polyloma. Is surgery the best treatment for this condition? Are throat polyps a symptom of some sort of diet or vitamin deficiency? Is there something we can do other than surgery in order to have this condition successfully treated?

A. Recurrent throat polyps are a rare disorder, but often serious as they can impair breathing. The majority of cases actually occur in young children. Research has shown the cause to be the human papilloma virus (HPV), the same virus that causes common warts. Conventional surgery or laser surgery is the accepted method of treatment, but other methods show some promise. Details of these treatments are available on the following websites:

http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/textonly/health/pubs_vsl/laryngeal.htm

http://www.alpf.org/door/

http://www.rrpf.org/

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