Nasal Polyps Treatment

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Nasal polyps should not be left untreated, as they will keep growing and cause serious problems and embarrassment. Conventional nasal polyps treatment is via two routes – steroid therapy or surgical removal.

In most cases, the first line of treatment is a steroid course, which may involve steroid sprays, steroid tablets or a combination of the two. Steroids can shrink down the polyps in about a week; however the shrinkage will be sustained only as long as the steroids are used. Once the steroids are stopped, the polyps will start growing again, and often to a larger size than they were before. Unfortunately, steroids can only be used for the short term, as they cause side effects such as headaches, nose bleeds, sore throats, vision loss, and increase the risk of glaucoma and cataract formation. In children, steroids can cause stunted growth. With steroid tablets, weight gain often occurs. If you have not started steroid therapy, DON’T! This will save you from getting stuck in a vicious cycle where you’ll have to rely on steroids to keep the polyps down.

The other conventional cure for nasal polyps is surgical removal, and this can be done in two ways. Polypectomy is removal of the polyps by getting at them through the nostrils. It is the most common type of nasal polyps surgery and apart from the polyps, some bone will be removed in an attempt to reduce the rate of re-growth.

The other type of surgery is endoscopic sinus surgery, and this procedure will be used for large polyps or where there are clusters of them. In this procedure, a cut is made in the face, and the polyps are removed by entering through these cuts.

Unfortunately, even surgery is not a permanent cure for nasal polyps, with a staggering 75% of the patients undergoing surgery experiencing a nasal polyps re-growth within a few weeks after the procedure. This is because the underlying cause of the polyps will not have been tackled, and the nasal passage will quickly become inflamed again, resulting in new polyps growth. In light of this, one wonders why anyone would opt for surgery, as it is expensive (nasal polyps surgery costs between $3,000 to over $30,000) and carries many risks such as eye damage and the possibility of causing growth of scar tissue. If the polyps are very high up the nose, there is a possibility of brain fluid leakage during the procedure.

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