What are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps can cause serious sleep problems, breathing issues, and can have untold negative repercussions on a person’s whole way of life, as often one’s sense of smell and taste are diminished as well. Nasal polyps very often are the result of a commonplace allergic reaction but left untreated the results can be profound. The first order treatment protocol for nasal polyps is typically a corticosteroid spray, which often takes care of the problem, but if not, then we will remove your nasal polyps.
Dust, pollen, and pet dander are among some of the more common allergies that can cause nasal polyps. If you are vulnerable to these allergies and you contact these allergens, the mucous membranes of your nasal passages may become inflamed, although chronic respiratory infections and asthma are also common causes of nasal polyps. These tiny growths in your mucous membranes can cause a wide range of negative symptoms, including an increase in sinus infections, headaches, and sinus congestion.
Nasal Polyp Surgery Overview
Nasal polyp surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, and while it doesn’t require incisions, you will need sedation. You will need help driving home after the procedure and a caretaker to stay with you for the first night after surgery. Plan on wearing an old button-down shirt to your nasal polyp surgery, as there will likely be leakage from your nose in the initial hours after your surgery. Depending on your case, your procedure may take anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours, which completely depends on the number and size of your polyps. After your comfort is assured by sedation, we will initiate the procedure by inserting an endoscope into your nostrils, which is a small tool with a magnifying camera attached to it. The endoscope allows us to look inside your nose as it is projected onto a monitor. This way we are able to see and work precisely, using tiny tools to actually remove your polyps.
After your polyps have been removed, your sinuses are rinsed with a saline solution, cleaning out any leftover particles and preventing infection. Your nostrils may then be packed with cotton, and if your nasal passages are extra narrow or if another procedure was performed along with the polyp surgery, then it may be appropriate for splints to be placed in your nostrils.
Recovering from Nasal Polyp Surgery
As part of your recovery, we will schedule a follow-up visit so that he can remove your packing, and then an additional visit will be required a few weeks after to remove the splints if required. Some patients, particularly if they have had many larger sized polyps removed, can experience a very intense recovery time. If this is the case, we may prescribe painkillers, along with instructions to continue on bed rest for up to five days. After the packing is removed, you will need to wash out your sinuses on a regular basis with a saline solution, which will help to keep the area free from infections. It is advisable to remain upright as much as possible during your recovery and to avoid leaning forward as this can place pressure on your surgical area, in turn potentially causing a bloody discharge to drip from your nose.
It is important that you closely and carefully follow all directions so that your recovery is optimal, and this can include not smoking, which prolongs the recovery time and makes it much more difficult and unpleasant. Be absolutely sure to attend all of your follow-up appointments, which will allow us to properly evaluate and guide your recovery process.
After you’ve recovered from your surgery, if we believe your nasal polyps have been caused by allergies, it may be recommended that you undergo an allergy test, which is done to help you take corrective and preventative measures. When corrective steps aren’t taken, then it is possible for nasal polyps to recur in as many as 70 percent of all patients. However, If you are careful about following instructions, then you should be breathing better, with a higher quality of life and you should be completely able to resume your normal activities within as little as two weeks following your procedure.
If you reside in greater Holland, Jennison, Grand Haven, South Haven, Grand Rapids or in any of the surrounding communities, and you either require nasal polyp surgery or are concerned that you may have nasal polyps, then please contact Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists to schedule your nasal polyp consultation today.