The goal of treatment for RRP is keeping the airway safe. This is done by repeated removal of RRP. In a small number of children with very severe disease, a tracheotomy may be needed to maintain a safe airway. This is quite rare, however. Surgical treatment will not cure RRP but is the most common treatment for RRP until the child’s immune system fights off the virus (HPV) and the RRP decreases.
Many surgical treatments exist for removing RRP. Lasers are able to destroy the RRP tissue. Mechanical shavers (microdebriders) allow RRP to be suctioned and cut free from the nearby tissue with great accuracy.
Other types of treatment have also been explored in the treatment of RRP. None of these have consistent results. Cidofovir is an antiviral medication that acts against DNA viruses. The use of injections of this medication into the RRP is being studied.
The control of esophageal reflux disease with medications has also been helpful in the treatment and slowing of virus activity in some patients.
The history of RRP is naturally solved in time in most children. When this will occur is unknown. Surgery is needed to keep a safe airway until the RRP lessens. Though treatments used should not create damage to nearby airway structures, any surgery can have problems. Movement of RRP into the trachea and lungs can occur. This makes treatment of the disease much more difficult, and life-threatening problems may develop.