Chances are that, unless you’ve experienced nasal polyps, you’re probably not too familiar with the condition. However, if you’ve suffered from chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, persistent stuffiness, loss of taste or smell, snoring, consistent runny nose and pressure in your face or a headache, perhaps nasal polyps are something you and your doctor should discuss.
What are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are soft, painless, non-cancerous growths that hang down like teardrops from the lining of your nasal passages or sinuses. They result from chronic inflammation due to asthma, sinus infections, allergies, and certain immune disorders.
Do You Have Nasal Polyps?
Generally, you’ll know if you have nasal polyps based on your symptoms. Your doctor will perform tests to determine if nasal polyps are a possibility, and further physical examinations such as nasal endoscopy can confirm this.
How Do you Treat Nasal Polyps?
The goal is to reduce the size of nasal polyps or eliminate them altogether. Generally, the first approach is to use medications such as corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. This treatment may shrink or eliminate polyps completely.
If drug treatment doesn’t successfully shrink or eliminate nasal polyps, your physician might recommend endoscopic surgery for nasal polyp removal. In this procedure, the surgeon inserts a small tube with a tiny camera on it into your nostril, guiding it into the sinus cavities. Once inside, the practitioner uses tiny instruments to remove polyps and may also enlarge the openings leading from your sinuses to your nasal passages to prevent further issues.
Nasal Polyp Surgery
After surgery, you should rest. Your surgeon may recommend the use of a saline rinse to promote healing and a corticosteroid nasal spray to prevent the recurrence of nasal polyps. If you have any pain or discomfort, either take the painkillers your doctor prescribed or over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol). Avoid other painkillers as they can cause blood thinning and decrease your ability to stop bleeding. Stay off your feet for the first few days and avoid visitors to reduce your chances of infection and catching a cold. Avoid blowing your nose for the first two weeks and after that continue to blow your nose very gently.
Avoid any smoky or polluted areas for a few weeks after surgery as well as strenuous activity such as contact sports and exercise until your doctor gives you permission. Don’t bend over or look down for too long—even at a computer or book—as this will increase the pressure in your nose.
As a minimally-invasive procedure, nasal polyp removal surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and carries a relatively minor risk of side effects.
Nasal Polyp Surgery
However, like any surgery, it does have potential risks. A small percentage of patients who undergo nasal polyp removal surgery have reported excessive bleeding or a postoperative sinus infection. Pain in the nasal or cheekbone area, combined with fever or a migraine may indicate an infection. Although most infections can be quickly cleared up with antibiotics, it is important to call your doctor at any sign of a problem.
Your Broward Nasal Polyp Experts
Dr. Callari performs nasal polyp removal in-office, using state-of-the-art techniques & equipment. If you have any questions about how we can help your sinus issues or would like to consult with Dr. Callari, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 760-7836.