Published: Jan. 20, 2010
Updated: Aug. 4, 2011
Leukoplakia is a precancerous lesion that can occur anywhere within the upper aero-digestive tract. Leukoplakia literally means “white plaque” and is visualized as such on the vocal folds during laryngoscopy or stroboscopy.
When located on the vocal folds, it can affect vibration and vocal quality. Most patients who present with leukoplakia have come in with a complaint of persistent hoarseness.
Leukoplakia requires surgical intervention with either a cold-knife procedure or KTP laser procedure. The appropriate treatment method will be determined by your physician.
Leukoplakia is often a recurring problem as the cells can multiply, meaning multiple procedures may be needed. For patients with leukoplakia, you will want to maintain contact with your physician and return for regularly scheduled follow-ups or sooner if you notice an increase in hoarseness.