What are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps develop due to chronic inflammation. They are often associated with allergies, asthma, and recurring infections. They are characterized as soft, sac-like growths on the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses, hanging down like teardrops. They can come from the tissue in the nose, but they mostly come from the tissue in the sinuses. In many cases, nasal polyps are so small that you may not even notice them, but in many other cases, they are larger and significantly impact the quality of life.

Nasal Polyps: What are the Symptoms?

  • Nasal congestion
  • Cough
  • Drippy nose 
  • Headaches
  • Snoring
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Decrease in sense of taste or smell
  • Draining in the nose and throat
  • Facial/forehead pain and/or pressure

Removal of Nasal Polyps

Before removal of nasal polyps can take place, their source must be identified. Dr. Reitzen will assess your medical history and symptoms, as well as perform a nasal exam to determine the root cause of the polyps. An endoscope or CT scan may be used for this. 

Non-Surgical

Once nasal polyps have been confirmed, usually the first course of action for treatment is non-surgical. Dr. Reitzen selects steroid spray or drops to decrease inflammation. For particularly large polyps or a severe infection, she may prescribe steroid tablets. She may also suggest antibiotics, antihistamines, or antifungal medication. 

Surgical 

If none of these medications is successful in the treatment of nasal polyps, a nasal polypectomy may be required. In a nasal polypectomy, an endoscope (a long, thin tool with a tiny camera on the end) is placed within the nose. The tiny camera allows Dr. Reitzen to see the inside of the nasal cavity so that she can effectively remove them with a microdebrider. 

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“She was SO personable and very communicative. Definitely will be keeping her as my doctor.” 

Angela S.

FAQ

Do nasal polyps ever return after treatment?

Is nasal polyp removal covered by insurance?

Are nasal polyps ever cancerous?

Can I remove a nasal polyp at home?

What age is most common for nasal polyps?

What is the best way to prevent nasal polyps from developing?

Do nasal polyps ever return after treatment?

Unfortunately, nasal polyps are considered to be a chronic condition. Because of this, it’s very important to work with a good ENT such as Dr. Reitzen to determine a long-term treatment plan. With surgery, most symptoms get much better; however, even with surgery nasal polyps may return in up to 15% of people with a chronic nasal condition.

Is nasal polyp removal covered by insurance?

Nasal polyp removal is typically covered by insurance because the polyps can obstruct breathing; however, it’s a good idea to double-check with your insurance company to make sure.

Are nasal polyps ever cancerous?

True nasal polyps are not cancer. If Dr. Reitzen suspects cancer, she will order a biopsy.

Can I remove a nasal polyp at home?

Never try to remove a nasal polyp yourself. Doing so could result in excessive bleeding and/or infection. Removal of nasal polyps is a major procedure that should be performed by an ENT doctor.

What age is most common for nasal polyps?

Although nasal polyps can develop in a person of any age, the most common age group to develop them are those in their 30s and 40s.

What is the best way to prevent nasal polyps from developing?

Nasal sprays/rinses, antihistamines, allergy shots, and treating sinus infections immediately may help prevent nasal polyps.

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Removal of Nasal Polyps with Dr. Reitzen

You don’t have to live with the life-impacting symptoms of nasal polyps. Dr. Reitzen is a double board-certified surgeon and experienced ENT doctor who takes a stepwise approach to help patients feel much better. Her goal is to deliver results that allow patients to regain function and breathe easily once again. With a focus on restoring optimal function, Dr. Reitzen serves the Tribeca and Upper East Side area, with two locations for optimal convenience. If you’re interested in the removal of nasal polyps, we encourage you to make an appointment with Dr. Reitzen to discover your treatment options. 

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