Treatment of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis in children with the microdebrider

Nalin Patel, Mark Rowe, David Tunkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The mainstay of treatment of children with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis has been CO2 laser laryngoscopy. Powered microdebriders allow precise removal of laryngeal lesions without thermal damage. The microdebrider may reduce costs by reducing operative time and limiting the need for expensive laser-related equipment. To compare the use of the microdebrider with that of the CO2 laser in children undergoing surgery for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, we retrospectively reviewed the charts of 18 patients from 2 institutions covering a treatment period between December 1998 and October 2001. These patients were initially treated with the CO2 laser, but were switched to microdebrider resection during the review period. We recorded the number of procedures, the technique(s) of resection used, and the operative time for each procedure. We identified 18 patients, 11 male and 7 female, ages 18 months to 14 years. A total of 127 procedures were performed with the CO2 laser, and a total of 50 procedures were performed with the microdebrider. The mean number of procedures per patient was 10 (range, 2 to 17 procedures). The mean surgical time per procedure using the CO2 laser was 59.2 minutes (range, 8 to 130 minutes). The mean time per procedure with the microdebrider was 32.4 minutes (range, 12 to 47 minutes). This reduction in operative time was clinically and statistically significant (p =. 0001, unpaired Student's t-test). We concluded that microdebrider resection of laryngeal papilloma in children allowed more rapid surgery with potentially reduced treatment costs. Other advantages of this technique include precise excision without thermal injury. Our report details useful refinements of technique with the microdebrider.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Carbon dioxide laser
  • Microdebrider
  • Respiratory papillomatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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