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Reconstructive Surgery American Board of Otolaryngology - ABO

Nasal Polyps FAQs

What are nose polyps?

Nose or nasal polyps are abnormal tissue growths found within the sinuses and/or nasal passageways. They are teardrop in shape and look like a bunch of grapes when fully grown. They can range in size and color, from shades of grey, pink, and/or yellow. When nasal polyps are very small, an individual may be completely unaware of their presence, as they are not likely to cause any health problems. When they are fully grown or occur in clusters, they can block nasal passageways and result in a variety of problems.

What are the symptoms of nasal polyps?

Nose polyps can produce a variety of symptoms. These symptoms are often similar to those of the common cold, so most people are not initially aware that nasal polyps are the cause of their breathing problems. Symptoms of nasal polyps include a blocked or stuffy nose that causes difficulty breathing through the nose, snoring, a runny nose, post-nasal drip (mucus that drips from the back of your nose down into your throat), and changes in your sense of smell or taste. In rare cases, nasal polyps can cause obstructive sleep apnea when the polyps block your nasal passageways during sleep. When nasal polyps occur in or near the nasal passageways they can cause sinus infections and chronic sinusitis. If you have been experiencing cold-like symptoms for more than two weeks, it is important to seek medical help. Nasal polyps will not resolve on their own and can cause chronic illness. If cold-like symptoms recur frequently and you find yourself constantly ill, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

What causes nose polyps?

Doctors are not entirely why some people suffer from nasal polyps while others do not. There are several health conditions that increase the likelihood of developing polyps. Asthma seasonal and environmental allergies, cystic fibrosis, and aspirin intolerance all appear to increase the risk of developing polyps. Doctors have also observed that polyps tend to occur as a result of inflammation of the nasal sinuses and linings of the nasal passageways.

When is surgery for nose polyps necessary?

When nose polyps are first diagnosed, your doctor will recommend a course of treatment. Typically steroid medications are prescribed in the hopes that the treatment will shrink the polyps and restore normal nasal function. If this treatment fails or if the polyps are particularly large, then sinus surgery may be required. In this case, your doctor may refer you to an experienced nose surgeon for surgery. Dr. Rizk frequently treats patients with enlarged polyps in New York.

How is surgery for nasal polyps performed?

The goal of surgery is to completely remove the problematic nasal polyps to restore proper respiratory function. When performing this surgery, Dr. Rizk uses a high definition telescope to locate the polyps. He will use specialized tools to excise the polyps and operates conservatively and precisely to allow for minimal pain, swelling, and bleeding during the recovery period. The surgery to treat nasal polyps is a type of sinus surgery that should only be performed by an experienced surgeon who has been specifically trained to treat sinus conditions. Located in NYC, Dr. Rizk has the experience necessary to perform surgery to remove nasal polyps.

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