Nasal polyps are pale, watery growths that arise from the lining of the nasal and sinus cavities. They are more common in patients with allergies, asthma, and chronic sinusitis. Nasal polyps are usually non-cancerous and caused by chronic inflammation of the nasal passage. Other symptoms of nasal polyps can include difficulty breathing through the nose, frequent sinus infections, reduced or lost sense of smell, sleep apnea, snoring, facial pain, and headaches.
While it seems instinctive to surgically remove growths that are causing problems in our bodies, surgery is not always the first or only recommended treatment for nasal polyps. Non-surgical treatments include:
- Oral or nasal steroids
- Steroid implants
If nasal polyps grow too large or inhibit proper breathing, it may be necessary to remove them with surgery. Nasal polyp surgery (nasal polypectomy), requires either local or general anesthesia, depending on the location of the polyps, their size, and if there are other conditions being treated simultaneously. For example, sometimes polyps are removed while performing an endoscopic sinus surgery or septoplasty. Due to modern surgical techniques, nasal polyp removal surgery is minimally invasive.