Are You Ready to Remove Your Nasal Polyps?
How can you tell if you have nasal polyps? Do they matter? Should they be removed? These are all the things you might wonder if you are having issues with your nasal area. Your ENT doctor can diagnose you with nasal polyps by undergoing a nasal endoscopy or through imaging studies. Do they need to be removed? In short, it depends, and it is a good question to address with a professional.
Treatments for Nasal Polyps
Nasal polyps often appear if you have chronic sinusitis. Whether or not you have polyps with this condition, you will want to treat your condition as assertively as possible. Since it is hard to completely see the polyps disappear, it is best to work with an ENT doctor to figure out a long-term treatment plan. The treatment approach for the sinusitis and the polyps is often the same, with the overall goal being to minimize symptoms, inflammation and, if present, the size or existence of the polyps. In many cases, medication is the first approach, but if the polyps are resistant, removal either in the office or in the operating room might be necessary. Polyps can re-occur as well so close observation is important.
There are a number of medications that can help polyps shrink or disappear completely. Your ENT doctor might first prescribe a nasal corticosteroid to reduce swelling or irritation. If that isn’t effective, you might move on to an oral or injected corticosteroid alone or in combination with the nasal version. Some patients may be candidates for injectable medications called biologics that may decrease the size of the polyps and take away some of your congestion. There are other medications that treat allergies and thereby help relieve a possible trigger for polyp growth.
If medications don’t work or don’t shrink the polyps enough, you might need placement of Sinuva, a temporary spacer that releases steroids in the nose and sinuses and helps the polyps melt away. This product can be placed in the office. People who have previously had surgery are candidates for Sinuva placement. Many patients opt for an endoscopic procedure to remove the polyps This procedure can help with the inflammation in your sinuses as well. With this type of surgery, the surgeon puts a small lighted tube with a camera into your nostril and guides it into the sinus area. The polyps are removed with tiny instruments and the sinuses are cleaned out. This procedure is either done in the office or as an outpatient in the surgery center. After the polyps are removed, it is necessary to use nasal sprays or rinses to help keep the polyps from recurring.
Preparing for Removing Nasal Polyps
If you’ve visited with your ENT professional at the Breathe Clear Institute and you know you need to have your nasal polyps removed, be aware of any pre-procedure restrictions. You need to fast the night before the procedure, for example, and get blood work done to ensure you are a good candidate for the surgery. Keep track of your symptoms as well so you have a baseline for comparison purposes prior to the procedure. Make sure you take a family member with you on the day of the procedure to help you remember aftercare instructions. Make a list of any medications you take as well and be sure you are not taking any blood thinners.