Benign Growths (Non-Cancer)
What are they?
There are a number of benign growths of the pharynx, larynx, and esophagus that can lead to alterations in patients’ voice, swallowing, and/or airway. Cysts, hemangiomas, paragangliomas, chondromas, fibromas, lipomas, and granular cell tumors are just a few examples of growths that can either affect the ability to get food into the esophagus or the ability of the larynx to voice/protect the airway. Depending on the location, they can cause hoarseness, breathing problems, and/or swallowing problems.
How are they treated?
Treatment decisions are catered to patient’s needs and disease characteristics. Initially, a biopsy must be performed to diagnosis the growth, which may be able to be done as an office-based procedure. A large number of benign tumors can be removed endoscopically with resolution of symptoms and favorable patient recovery. It is imperative that such surgical procedures are done by surgeons skilled in endoscopic surgery. For some growths, open surgery is necessary.