What are nasal polyps?
Nasal polyps are soft growths that usually form in the area where the sinuses open into the nasal cavity. Unlike polyps that form in the colon, polyps in the sinuses are almost always noncancerous. These polyps hang down like grapes. Small nasal polyps may not cause any symptoms, while larger polyps or groups of polyps can block the patient’s nasal passage leading to various problems.
What causes nasal polyps to form?
Anyone can have nasal polyps, but they’re most common in men over the age of 40. These growths are linked to chronic inflammation in some people, but not everyone. Causes aren’t fully understood, but there seems to be a link with allergic rhinitis, asthma, sinus infections, and cystic fibrosis. Some research shows a difference in the immune system response in the mucous membranes of people who develop nasal polyps.
Symptoms of Nasal Polyps
- Stuffy or blocked nose
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Loss of taste
- Decreased sense of smell
- Facial pain
- Itching around the eyes
- Chronic infections
- Increased sensitivity to fumes, odors, dust, and chemicals
Diagnosis of Nasal Polyps
Our team at The ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas will ask you questions about your symptoms and we’ll examine your nose. Polyps are visible with a nasal endoscope that is inserted into a nostril and advanced up into your nasal cavity.
Beyond endoscopy, we may use a CT scan to pinpoint the size and location of polyps in deeper areas of your sinuses. This can help us rule out other causes, such as structural abnormalities in your sinuses.
Treatment of Nasal Polyps
Treatment for typical nasal polyps usually begins with nasal corticosteroid sprays. These usually will not cure polyps but can prevent them from worsening. In severe cases, we may use oral or injected corticosteroids. Other medications we may utilize are antihistamines and antibiotics to treat chronic or recurring infection.
If your polyps don’t respond to medications, we may use endoscopic surgery to remove polyps and to correct problems with your sinuses that make them prone to develop. The endoscope is a tiny tube with a camera on the end. It is inserted into the nostril and guided up into the sinus cavities. Tiny instruments then remove polyps and other obstructions.
What is SINUVA?
Patients who have had prior sinus surgery are prone to recurring polyps. SINUVA in a small steroid implant which is placed in the location where the polyps have developed. SINUVA dissolves slowly delivering anti-inflammatory medicine to treat and shrink nasal polyps. It is left in place for up to 90 days and is then removed. SINUVA is placed in a simple office procedure and it cannot be felt in the sinus cavity.
Who is a good candidate for SINUVA?
SINUVA is for patients who have had previous ethmoid sinus surgery and have recurring nasal polyps.
How does SINUVA work?
SINUVA is a made from bioabsorbable polymers designed to soften over time. The device has arms that are folded down during insertion into the sinus cavity. Once it is in the correct location, SINUVA is released and the arms spread outward, opening it in the sinus cavity and ensuring it stays in place. SINUVA then begins releasing a corticosteroid, mometasone furoate, onto the polyps. This medicine shrinks the polyps and reduces nasal obstruction and congestion. It also improves the patient’s sense of smell. Once the polyps have shrunk or been eliminated, the SINUVA implant is removed in a simple office visit.
How is SINUVA placed?
The placement takes just minutes in our ENT & Allergy Center offices. We first numb your nose locally, which takes from 20-30 minutes for the anesthetic to take effect. Then we advance the SINUVA implant on the end of a delivery system. When the implant is compressed it is comparable to the head of a cotton swab. Once in place, the implant is released and it opens and stays in place.
Results After SINUVA Placement
SINUVA’s corticosteroid medication is proven to reduce nasal polyps. But results may vary by the patient.
How long will SINUVA stay in place?
SINUVA begins working immediately upon placement. Once the polyps have shrunken or have gone away, the implant is removed. This stays in place for 90 or less. As SINUVA softens and the polyps decrease, the implant may be expelled out of the nose on its own through sneezing or forceful nose blowing.
Does SINUVA hurt? Can I feel it?
Clinical studies have shown that over 85 percent of patients receiving SINUVA could not feel it in place in their sinus cavities. Others felt minor pain/pressure.
Are There Any Risks of SINUVA?
The most common adverse reactions observed in the clinical trials for SINUVA were bronchitis, upper respiratory or middle ear infections, headaches, lightheadedness, asthma, and nosebleed. The risks are similar to those associated with other endoscopic sinus procedures, such as nosebleed, injuries to blood vessels, and bacterial infection. SINUVA should not be used if you have hypersensitivity to corticosteroids or have nasal ulcers or other nasal trauma.
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