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Nasal Polyps

Approximately 20% of patients who suffer from chronic sinusitis will also have nasal polyps. This is referred to as Chronic Sinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). It is characterized by inflammation of the nose and sinus cavities. Nasal Polyps are benign growths in the nasal cavities that are thought to originate from the ethmoid sinuses. Nasal polyps tend to be present in both sides of the nasal cavity. One-sided nasal polyps may need to be investigated further as they might be malignant nasal or sinus tumors.
The western population demonstrates an elevated allergic type of cells known as eosinophils. As a result, patients suffering from nasal polyps should undergo allergy testing to fully understand the extent of their allergic pathology. Infection may also play a role, especially by bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Typically, nasal polyps develop in adulthood in the 30s or 40s.

New Patient Visit

Initial Visit

At your initial visit, a focused review of your symptoms, duration and medical history is carried out to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms associated with nasal polyps include nasal drainage, nasal congestion, facial pressure or pain, and a decrease in sense of smell. Of all the symptoms, nasal congestion and loss of smell tend to be the most bothersome.

Workup

After arriving at a presumptive clinical diagnosis, nasal endoscopy is performed to visualize the nasal polyps and document the extent of disease. Diagnostic imaging with a CT Scan of the Sinus is also performed to assess the relationship of your polyps to your orbital and intracranial cavities. Lastly, allergy testing is performed to determine the extent of allergies involved in causing your nasal polyps.

Treatment

After arriving at an accurate diagnosis based on your clinical and diagnostic workup, medical or in-office treatment is discussed. For patients that have not undergone prior medical treatment, maximum medical therapy including steroid sprays, oral steroids, saline irrigations, antibiotics and allergy medications may assist in symptomatic reduction. In cases where medications have not proven effective, office procedures, surgical intervention, and/or biologic therapy(Dupixent®) is discussed to achieve symptom relief and disease control.

Nasal Polyps FAQ

What are the most common symptoms associated with Nasal Polyps?
Many patients complain mostly of lack of smell and nasal congestion. These are hallmarks of nasal polyps.
I have had numerous surgeries and medications for my polyps but they keep recurring. What are my options?
Dupixent(dupilumab) injection therapy is a biologic that is successful in treating cases of nasal polyps resistant to surgery and medical therapy. We have placed patients on this with excellent results.
How does Dupixent injection therapy work?
Dupixent(Dupilumab) is a biologic injection given every other week that acts as an inhibitor of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) which are key drivers in the inflammatory response that causes nasal polyps to develop. It was approved for use in the summer of 2019 by the FDA for use in patients with polyps. See our Press Release(LINK) for more information.
Will my polyps turn into cancer?
Nasal Polyps are a benign growth that results from inflammation. They are not cancerous. However, there are other benign nasal growths such as papillomas that can turn malignant over time. They are usually unilateral in nature. A proper endoscopic exam can differentiate between both disorders.
How extensive is surgery for nasal polyps?
It depends on the extent of your polyps. Many procedures are performed in our office under local anesthesia. If your polyps are advanced, we utilize general anesthesia and image guided surgery to remove your polyps in a safe, effective fashion.

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