Hope for Miriam’s Throat

Six weeks after Miriam’s expansion surgery, we started hearing some irregularities in her voice indicating that the polyp in her throat might be re-growing once again. She has already had the growth removed four times surgically, and her ENT has had no advice on how to keep it from returning except to put her on a steroid inhaler. While this seemed to slow the growth of the polyp, he did not expect it to grow at all and was surprised to keep seeing us. Something more is clearly going on. We decided to get a second opinion, as Miriam cannot continue to have surgery every six weeks. This week we consulted with a new ENT, a throat specialist named Dr. Cheung-Phillips at Capital Otolaryngology. Dr. CP was very friendly and patient, listened attentively to the background of Miriam’s story, and asked many appropriate questions. She performed a videostrobolaryngoscopy, which used a stationary camera on a stick that sat on Miriam’s tongue to record a short video of the movement of her vocal cords. Miriam did not enjoy the procedure, but it was over in less than a minute and was certainly preferable to having a camera sent through her nose or being put under anesthesia again. And she got to go choose a prize from the prize tower while the doctor went over the video with us. There was some irregularity visible on one side of her vocal cords, probably in the same spot where she has had the polyp removed repeatedly. Additionally, Dr. CP saw clear signs of reflux (swollen & red throat surrounding the vocal cords), which can cause polyps, or in Miriam’s case perhaps cause one to return. Miriam has started taking Pepcid to see if it can reduce her stomach acid and give her throat a chance to heal. We will return to the doctor in two months to re-scope and check her progress. We are praying the polyp will resolve itself this time, or if it needs to be removed surgically, that removing the reflux will allow it to heal completely.

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