Nasal polyps can interfere with the normal functioning of the nose and sinuses, causing ongoing symptoms such as chronic nasal congestion and postnasal drip. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a polypectomy to provide effective long-term relief.
In this blog, the board-certified ear, nose, and throat doctors at New York ENT explain when a polypectomy may be recommended.
What is a polypectomy?
A polypectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that’s performed to remove nasal polyps. These non-cancerous growths form in the nose or sinuses, usually around the area where your sinuses open into your nasal cavity.
What is involved?
This procedure is performed in the doctor’s office using local anesthesia. It’s performed through your nostrils, so no external incisions to your nose are needed. The lack of external incisions also makes recovery easier and quicker after your procedure.
During a polypectomy, your doctor will pass an endoscope – a flexible lighted tube with a tiny video camera at one end – into your nostrils to get a clear view of your nose and sinuses and to be able to locate the nasal polyps. A mechanical suction device called a micro-debrider is then passed into your nostrils, and your doctor will use it to precisely remove each polyp.
After your procedure, you’ll be able to resume your normal activities right away in most cases. You’ll need to avoid strenuous activities for a few days and be careful blowing your nose for a few weeks. It can also help to avoid irritants such as smoky rooms for this period of time.
You may experience congestion or some nasal discharge, but these symptoms should clear up within a few days.
When is it recommended?
Some nasal polyps don’t cause any issues and don’t require treatment. Others – due to their size and/or location – can interfere with the normal drainage of mucus from the nose and sinuses, causing sinusitis (sinus infections) that can become chronic.
You may experience ongoing symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip (the sensation of mucus noticeably dripping down the back of your throat). In some cases, nasal polyps are so large that they can change the shape of your nose.
If your nasal polyps are causing symptoms, your doctor may suggest that you try a nasal corticosteroid spray to try to shrink them. In some cases, oral corticosteroids may be prescribed, but they should only be taken in the short term. You may also receive treatment for allergies, sinus infections, or other issues that can cause nasal polyps.
When non-invasive treatments aren’t effective enough, your doctor may recommend a polypectomy to remove the polyps.
If you’re experiencing frequent or chronic sinus infections, congestion, or other symptoms of nasal polyps, make an appointment today for an evaluation with New York ENT. We’ll be able to determine the cause of your symptoms, and if nasal polyps are at the root of your problems, we’ll recommend non-invasive treatments to start. If these aren’t effective enough, we’ll suggest a polypectomy to correct the underlying issue and provide you with long-term relief.