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How Do They Remove Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are the painless and non-cancerous growth in the lining of the nasal passage. Treatment is initiated through medications and surgical removal is the option available if medications fail to provide improvement in symptoms.

How Do They Remove Nasal Polyps?

The initial treatment for nasal polyps is the administration of various drugs such as steroids, antihistamines, and antibiotics. These drugs help to reduce the size of nasal polyps and may also disappear it. However, if the drugs are not effective, then the option available for removal of a nasal polyp is surgery. The surgery for removal of a nasal polyp is termed as nasal polypectomy. During nasal polypectomy, the deformities of sinus may also be corrected to prevent the recurrence of nasal polyps4.

The most common surgical method used for the removal of a nasal polyp is Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS). Operation is done with the help of a small camera. A small tube with a camera is inserted in the nostrils to the nasal cavity, and the polyp is removed with an endoscopic instrument5. During the surgery, the surgeon also looks for any barrier to the flow of mucus and if found any, he removes it to allow proper flow of mucus. The surgery is done under either a local or general anesthesia and is generally an outpatient procedure until there is a surgical complication. The operation usually takes about two hours; however, the duration depends upon the number of polyps6.

It is also to be noted that like other surgeries, nasal polypectomy also causes pain and inflammation that may cause the polyps to recur. Thus, patients are prescribed with anti-inflammatory drugs to manage inflammation. Rinsing with saline solution may also be advised by the surgeon to accelerate the healing process.

It is also worthy to note that people suffering from conditions such as chronic rhinosinusitis are prone to recurrence of nasal polyps. Corticosteroids are used to suppress the growth of nasal polyps by alleviating inflammation. However, in some cases, even steroids fail to provide improvement in the symptoms.

Symptoms & Causes Of Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are noncancerous. They do not cause any pain. These are the outgrowths on the lining of the sinuses or nasal cavity. They have grapes or teardrops like appearance. Nasal polyps may be small or large. The cause of nasal polyps includes infection, immunity disorders, an infection that may recur, and asthma1.

Small nasal polyps do not cause any symptoms and also do not require treatment. Larger growths interfere with breathing and may require removal. They also disrupt the drainage system and do not allow the mucus to flow properly. As a result, mucus gets accumulated in the sinus and may cause infection2.

Symptoms of nasal polyps vary from patient to patient and depend upon the size and number of polyps. The severity of the symptoms increases as the size of nasal polyp increases. A most common symptom, occurring in almost 75% of the patient changes in sense of smell. Other symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and postnasal drip.

People with nasal polyps have an increased risk of infection and are sensitive to various chemicals and drugs. Nasal polyps may also result in chronic sinusitis. In cases of larger nasal polyps, the change in the shape of the nose is also seen in some patients.

The cause of nasal polyps, in most cases, remains unknown. Men are at increased risk as compared to women and people over the age of 40 years are more vulnerable to getting nasal polyps. The factors that may trigger nasal polyps include allergic reaction to medications such as NSAIDs, cystic fibrosis and Churg-Strauss syndrome3. As various genes are involved in determining how nasal mucosa react to various allergens, the occurrence of nasal polyps is also sometimes linked to genetics.


Removal of nasal polyp is done through Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS). The surgery is aided by a camera that assists in the removal of polyps.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 24, 2019

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