Nasal Polyps: When Do They Need to Be Removed?

Sinus Polyps | St. Louis Sinus Center | St. Louis, MO The presence of nasal polyps can be disruptive to your day-to-day life. They can make it difficult to breathe while you sleep and when you exercise. Nasal polyps also increase the risk of sinus infections and other frustrating problems. Still, does that mean they should be surgically removed? Here, we discuss the potential treatment options for nasal polyps.

What are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are small growths that develop within the lining of the nostrils. These lesions do not cause pain and are not a cancer risk. If polyps are very small, they may not cause any symptoms at all. Problems occur when polyps grow in size.

Symptoms of nasal polyps include:

  • Chronic snoring
  • Sleep apnea, a condition in which the airway becomes completely blocked during sleep.
  • A sensation of tightness in the upper nostrils or sinuses
  • Pain
  • Post-nasal drip

Surgery is not the First Solution

Nasal polyps are usually treated conservatively before we suggest surgery. Non-surgical treatment protocols include saline sprays to keep the lining of the nostrils moist or steroid treatments to reduce inflammation. Steroids may be administered into the nostrils in spray form or taken orally to work on the systemic level. Treatment may also center around managing allergy or asthma symptoms since polyps often coincide with these conditions.

When Surgery May be Necessary

We usually suggest the surgical removal of nasal polyps only if non-surgical treatments do not improve symptoms or if growths are so large that they are causing severe disruption to quality of life. Nasal polyps that cause obstructive sleep apnea also present a risk for numerous secondary health concerns related to the lack of oxygenation and quality sleep.

The idea of removing nasal polyps may create unnecessary stress due to the perception created by older surgical techniques. Many people believe that a nasal surgery will end in having their nasal passages packed with gauze for several weeks. This is no longer the norm. Newer methods of treating nasal conditions have improved efficiency, safety, and post-surgical comfort. If your nasal polyps need to be surgically removed, Dr. Gould will explain all of the details of the procedure as well as what to expect concerning post-surgical sinus treatment.

Schedule a Consultation

Nasal polyps and other sinus conditions are our specialties. For more information on diagnosis and treatment, call our St. Louis office at (314) 473-5433.

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