Nasal polyps are the most common growths found within the nose. They usually appear in both nostrils as the result of a swollen, irritated nasal lining. Occasionally, other growths or tumors will present as polyps in the nose. If allergy is the underlying cause, it is possible that the polyps will reoccur unless the allergic condition is treated. Polyps can be very troublesome, as they tend to make breathing difficult and often decrease or totally diminish the sense of smell.
Surgical removal has been found to be the most effective treatment. Although small polyps can be removed endoscopically in the office, most cases are handled in the operating room setting under general anesthesia. This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis; however, certain patients may need to be hospitalized for one night. Patients are up and about soon after surgery as they recover from anesthesia.
Risks have been mitigated by use of techniques utilizing telescopes, small specialized instruments, and in some cases, intra-operative image-guidance technology (i.e. use of your x-rays with a computer and the surgeon’s instruments). However, despite the measures, complications rarely occur which can involve the eye, layer between the sinuses and brain, and sense of smell, infections, and persistent nosebleeds.