How do you treat nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are extra fleshy growths inside the nasal passages. They usually arise as a result of allergic reactions or other sensitivities within the nasal passages. Typically, the nasal membranes swell up, and at some point they form extra fleshy component which are called polyps. They are usually are anchored within the nasal passages or some of the sinuses.

As the polyps grow, they take up more space within the nasal passages and they block up the sinuses as well as the nasal breathing passages. The patients often experience obstructive issues as well as recurrent sinus infections.

Perhaps the best way of dealing with polyps is preventive measures. The patients with known allergy issues are best served by treating their allergies aggressively. This is both in the form of nasal sprays, antihistamines, as well as allergy shots in the appropriate patient.

Once polyps are formed, additional medical therapy might be necessary. Many patients get significant shrinking in the size of the polyps with a course of orally administered steroid. However, after the steroids are completely metabolized, the polyps might regrow if there is still irritation from active allergy issues.

Alternatively, in a patient who has not responded to medical therapy, polypectomy might be an appropriate solution. This is a surgery that is done in the operating room under general anesthesia. Using a microdebrider instrument, the polyps are shaved down to their base. They might need to be followed all the way into the sinuses to achieve complete opening of the nasal passages. Please refer to the video above for demonstration of polypectomy using a microdebrider.

The patients who have undergone surgical polypectomy still need to be vigilant about recurrence of polyps. Typically, these patients need to be extra careful about taking their allergy medicines on a more regular basis. Frequent followup in the office would also detect polyp recurrence at an earlier stage, so that intervention can be achieved in a timely manner.

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Posted in: Nose

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