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Nasal polyps
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Nasal polyps

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From MayoClinic.com

Treatment

If you have one or more small polyps, your doctor is likely to prescribe a corticosteroid nasal spray such as fluticasone (Flonase), triamcinolone (Nasacort), budesonide (Rhinocort), flunisolide (Nasarel, Nasalide) or mometasone (Nasonex). These medications relieve inflammation, increase nasal airflow and may help shrink polyps. Although they cause fewer side effects than oral steroids, long-term use can lead to nasal bleeding or perforation of the septum and an increased risk of glaucoma. Nasal corticosteroids may also reduce growth rates by as much as one-half inch in some children, although it's impossible to predict which children will be affected.

Other treatments for nasal polyps include:

  • Oral corticosteroids. Sometimes your doctor may prescribe an oral corticosteroid pill such as prednisone (Deltasone), either alone or in combination with a nasal spray. Because oral steroids can cause serious side effects, you usually take them for a brief period — often no more than a few weeks.

  • Other medications. In addition to treating your polyps, your doctor may prescribe medications to control allergies or infection. Antihistamines, for instance, counteract histamine, an inflammatory substance released when your immune system encounters an allergen. If you have hay fever or other allergies, antihistamines may help relieve your congestion, although they won't eliminate polyps. In addition, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for an acute sinus infection.

  • Antifungal medications. Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that some cases of chronic sinusitis may be caused by an unusual immune system response to environmental fungus. For that reason, antifungal medications are being tested as a treatment for sinusitis-related polyps. In one Swiss study, nasal polyps completely disappeared in 39 percent of study participants who rinsed their nostrils with an anti-fungal solution twice a day for 1 month. Studies of antifungal treatments are ongoing.

  • Surgery. When medications aren't effective, your doctor may recommend removing your polyps surgically. This is often the only option for people with cystic fibrosis who usually don't respond to steroids. The type of operation depends on the size, number and location of the polyps. Small or isolated polyps can often be completely removed using a small mechanical suction device or a microdebrider — an instrument that cuts and extracts soft tissue. The procedure, called a polypectomy, is performed on an outpatient basis. Following polypectomy, you'll be treated for any underlying inflammation, usually with corticosteroid nasal sprays and sometimes with antibiotics or oral steroids. Even so, polyps frequently return, and you may need additional operations.

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a more extensive procedure that not only removes polyps, but also opens the part of the sinus cavity where polyps usually form. If your sinuses are very blocked or inflamed, your doctor may open even more of your sinus cavity. In both cases, your surgeon uses a thin, rigid tube and a camera called a video endoscope. Because endoscopic surgery requires small incisions, you generally heal more quickly and with less discomfort than with other types of surgery. Still, full recovery may take several weeks, and polyps often return. This surgery carries serious potential risks, including leakage of cerebrospinal fluid, injury to the optic nerve or eye muscles, and hemorrhage.

Nasal polyps > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
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