Nasal polypectomy is a surgical operation done to remove nasal polyps from within the nose. Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths on the lining tissues or mucosa of your nose.
Causes of nasal polyps
Nasal polyps grow in swollen tissue of the nasal mucosa. The mucosa is a very wet layer that helps protect the inside of your nose and sinuses and dampens the air you breathe. During an infection, the nasal mucosa becomes swollen and red, and it may produce fluid that drips out. With continuous irritation, the mucosa may form a polyp. A polyp is a round growth that can block nasal openings.
Although some people can develop polyps with no previous nasal problems, there’s normally a trigger for developing polyps. They include:
Chronic or recurring sinus infections
Sensitivity to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin.
There may be a hereditary tendency for some people to develop polyps. This may be due to the way their genes cause their mucosa to react to inflammation.
Symptoms of nasal polyps?
Nasal polyps are soft, painless growths inside the nasal openings. They usually occur in the area where the upper sinuses drain into your nose. You may not tell that you have polyps because they lack nerve sensation.Polyps can grow large enough to block your nasal openings, resulting in chronic congestion. Symptoms include:
A feeling that your nose is clogged
Reduced sense of smell
Breathing through your mouth
A feeling of pressure in your forehead or face
Pain or headaches may also occur if there’s a sinus infection.
How are nasal polyps diagnosed?
A nasal polyp will likely be visible if your doctor looks up into your nasal openings with a lighted tool known as an otoscope or nasoscope. If the polyp is deeper in your sinuses, your doctor may need to carry out a nasal endoscopy. This procedure involves your doctor guiding a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end into your nasal openings.
A CT scan or MRI scan may be needed to determine the exact size and location of the polyp. Polyps appear as opaque spots on these scans. Scans can also show if the polyp deformed the bone in the area. This can also rule out other kinds of growths that may be more medically serious.
Allergy tests can help doctors determine the cause of persistent nasal inflammation. These tests involve making tiny skin pricks in your skin and depositing the liquid form of a variety of allergens. Your doctor will then see if your immune system reacts to any of the allergens.
If a very young child has nasal polyps, tests for genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis may be needed.
Treatments for nasal polyps
Medications that reduce inflammation may aid in reducing the size of the polyp and relieve signs of congestion.
Spraying nasal steroids into the nose can decrease your runny nose and the feeling of blockage by shrinking the polyp. Nevertheless, if you stop taking them, symptoms may quickly return. Examples of nasal steroids include:
Fluticasone (Flonase, Veramyst)
An oral or injectable steroid like prednisone may be an option if nasal sprays don’t work. These aren’t a long-term solution because of their serious side effects like fluid retention, increased blood pressure and elevated pressure in the eyes.
If your symptoms are still not improving, surgical operation can remove the polyps completely. The type of surgery to be done depends on the size of the polyp. A polypectomy is an outpatient surgical operation done with a small suction device or a micro-debrider that cuts and removes soft tissue, including the mucosa.
For larger polyps, your doctor can carry out an endoscopic sinus surgery using a thin, flexible endoscope with a tiny camera and small tools on the end. Your doctor will guide the endoscope into your nostrils, find the polyps and remove them. Your doctor may also widen the openings to your sinus cavities. This type of surgical procedure is an outpatient procedure most of the time.
After surgery, nasal sprays and saline washes can prevent polyps from recurring. In general, reducing the inflammation of the nasal openings with nasal sprays, anti-allergy medications, and saline washes can help prevent nasal polyps from developing.
Complications of nasal polyps
Treating nasal polyps, especially with surgery may lead to nosebleeds. Surgery may also result in infection. Continuous treatment with nasal steroid sprays or oral corticosteroids may lower your resistance to sinus infections.
What is the long-term outlook?
With surgical treatment, most symptoms get significantly better. However, if you’ve lost some sense of smell, it may never come back. Even with surgery, nasal polyps may regrow in up to fifteen percent of people with a chronic nasal problem.
: The information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by Surjen.com.