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Ask Dr. Gott 1/12

Polyps make voice raspy

DEAR DR. GOTT: When I recently went to my ENT doctor, he found two polyps, one on each vocal cord. I have a rather raspy voice. The doctor said he will have to see me every six months to keep a watch on their growth. He also said that if they eventually have to be removed, it could make my voice more raspy. Could you give me your opinion on this?
    DEAR READER: The crucial issue here is the nature of the polyps. Are they benign or malignant?
    If they are cancerous, they must be removed. On the other hand, benign polyps can be monitored. Were this my decision to make, I'd have the polyps removed. Once they are gone, the operative site should heal in about two months and your voice should not be scratchy, although a raspy voice can follow surgery on the larynx.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have a question. What should my 50-year-old niece do about the bungled hip transplant she had over two years ago? She was a rugged, healthy lady of medium build until the surgery. Pains in the left hip were her only problem.
    Two years later, she barely gets around with a cane or crutches. She still has an infection in her operation site due to the bungled transplant, which also resulted in that leg being 2 inches longer. She wears corrective shoes, still has the infection, takes antibiotics for it and has puffed up and gained unwanted weight. She has seen another bone surgeon, who hesitates to operate again due to deep infection.
    DEAR READER: Unfortunately, metal prostheses, especially artificial hips, can become infected easily, and once infected, can remain that way despite antibiotics because the metal, unlike living tissue, has no way of preventing bacterial growth. In fact, the metal may actually provide "living quarters" for staph germs.
    I do not understand the specialist's hesitancy to operate. Your niece needs to have a complete hip replacement — again. In my experience, the problem with infection cannot be handled conservatively. Perhaps a third opinion from another orthopedist would be appropriate, because I am not a bone/joint specialist.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I remember reading in your column some time ago that herbs aren't good for you. If so, I surely would like to know.
    Also, would herbs, by chance, cause cancer? That's kind of far-fetched, but I would appreciate any comments on this.
    DEAR READER: Most herbs are not harmful, providing they are not consumed in excess. As you know, herbal supplements are not under Food and Drug Administration supervision. Therefore, when you consume herbal supplements regularly, you may not be receiving the appropriate dosage. I urge readers to avoid this.
    To my knowledge, herbal therapy does not cause cancer.

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