Nasal polyps can be one of the more difficult problems faced by an otolaryngologist. It isn’t that they are difficult to remove but that they can often reappear. Our surgery is much more complete and even if there is some recurrence it will rarely be a noticeable problem for the patient. Although the etiology remains a mystery, it is clearly an immunologic phenomenon.Careful evaluation of all subtle allergies and even occult fungal infections must be considered. Much new information is on the horizon and we will certainly stay current to best serve our patients.
Polyps can be treated pharmacologically with systemic (Prednisone) steroids. These work to shrink the polyps, but the effects are very temporary and you cannot continue on systemic steroids forever. Many patients will see benefits from directed immunotherapy, so I at least think about this prior to surgery.There is some new evidence that the newer leukotriene inhibitors (Singulair) may be of benefit to some select patients. New theories are emerging with regard to a fungal etiology of chronic rhinosinusitis (see our information on fungal sinusitis).
If surgical therapy is required we will usually use the image guidance system and do a thorough opening of the sinuses and removal of all of the polyps. Following this continued topical nasal spray is always beneficial. We can work with you to tailor an apropriate treatment plan specifically for you. Nasal polyps in children are unusual, and may be indicative of CF (cystic fibrosis) or other underlying issues.