Sinus polyps are benign tumors which can affect any of the sinuses. Polyps may enlarge and cause breathing difficulties and these are the most common symptoms which lead patients to their doctors. The very presence of polyps may induce inflammation of the sinuses.
Polyps can be a consequence of allergies and repeated bacterial or viral infection. In certain medical conditions patients are more prone to sinus polyps. Cystic fibrosis is only one of the predisposing diseases for formation of polyps.
The patient who is suffering from sinus polyps may also have problem with nasal polyps. These two conditions can occur simultaneously.
Symptoms of Sinus Polyps
Since sinus polyps provoke chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane a patient may complain about runny nose, constant nasal obstruction, postnasal drip, disturbances of sense of smell and taste, intermittent facial pain and headaches and problems with snoring.
Sinus polyps most commonly occur as a consequence of chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane. So, all the people who are suffering from repeated sinusitis may eventually develop sinus polyps. The exact process of polyp formation has not been fully understood, but these tumors are definitely related to chronic irritation and inflammation of sinus mucous membrane.
Treatment of Sinus Polyps
Very small sinus polyps are actually asymptomatic so they require no treatment. On the other hand big polyps are responsible for breathing difficulties, repeated sinus infections and potentially loss of smell. Initial treatment may include certain medications and if they fail to provide with satisfying results a patient will eventually have to undergo surgical removal of polyps. Recurrence after surgical resection of polyps is also possible.Additionally, the appropriate treatment of infections and allergies may be effective in prevention against new polyps.
Surgery for Sinus Polyps
The surgeon will decide on the surgical approach according to the size of the polyp and its location. Even the number of polyps determines the surgical approach that is going to be performed. Polyps can be removed by polypectomy and endoscopic sinus surgery.
Polypectomy is minimally invasive surgical procedure performed in patients who are suffering from small polyps. The excision of polyps is perfectly achieved by a small mechanical suction gadget or a microdebrider.
Endoscopic sinus surgery will take care of both, polyps and the inflamed mucous membrane of sinuses. This surgical procedure uses endoscope which is inserted into sinuses, the polyp is cut and the surgeon can check the whole surface of the sinus and decide whether he/ she is going to remove additional sinus tissue.
Some patients use corticosteroid nasal sprays after the surgery as a form of prevention against new polyps. Corticosteroid nasal sprays must not be used for longer period of time as they possess numerous side effects.