Removing vocal cord tumors

Removing tumors from vocal cords

Tumors that grow on the vocal cords, whether they are cancerous or not, are often removed with invasive surgery.

Now a laser that has been used for years in the dermatology world to treat problems like spider veins is quickly and easily removing tumors on the vocal cords.

David Huels and his wife have a big family to keep track of but for the past seven years, David has had a tough time communicating with them.

"I could not have the volume, and I could not have the projection in my voice that I should have," describes David.

David had a tumor on his vocal cord.

"These are the same precancerous warts that happen on the cervix in women, frequently from the same virus, called Human Papilloma Virus," says David.

Doctor Michael Haben says surgery can remove the tumor, but an unrelated spinal problem prevented David from getting surgery.

He simply had to live with the hoarseness.

Dr. Haben says, "Probably more significantly though, he's had a tumor on his vocal cord that he goes to bed every night, thinking about, wondering, "Is this going to turn cancerous?"

Now there is a better solution, a laser that destroys tumors in less than 30-minutes.

"It targets the blood supply. If you can eliminate the blood supply to any tumor in the body, you will cure the tumor," says Dr. Haben.

In this demo, watch how the laser is only absorbed by the color red and adjacent to it there is nothing.

It cuts off the blood feeding the tumor, leaving surrounding tissue unharmed.

David had the procedure two weeks ago, so his voice is still recovering, but he has already noticed a change.

David says, "I can speak without forcing myself to speak. I hope I can sing and praise the Lord."

Now he is looking forward to getting his normal voice back.

Doctor Haben says there are just a handful of clinics using this laser to remove tumors.

The outpatient procedure is easier on both the patient and the health care system as it eliminates the need for repeat in-hospital surgeries.

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