Bleeding Nasal Polyps Treatment

Bleeding Nasal Polyps Treatment

The sinuses are hollow cavities situated behind the forehead, around the eyes, and the cheekbones.  This hollow structure communicates with the nostrils and contains air.  Its membranes produce and secrete mucus to keep them well moistened, as well as to moisten the air we breathe.  Nasal congestion occurs when the sinuses gets blocked, unable to drain out the mucus properly.  Nasal polyps could also be one of the reasons for nasal congestion to appear.

Sinus or nasal polyps

These are abnormal growths noted in the sinuses, more so around the nasal regions.  They are soft projecting masses, shaped like a teardrop, may vary in size, and can be of white, pink, or gray in color that develop in the lining of the nose as well as the paranasal regions.  These are not cancerous growths, however.

The polyps can grow individually or in clusters, and as they grow in size, they may seem like a bunch of grapes hanging from a stem.  These usually develop in both nostrils, and it is the large sized ones that usually cause difficulties with breathing, interfere with smell, and bring about infectious conditions.

Individuals having these abnormal growths often present with cold-like symptoms, which do not go away that easily.  Also, people who experience frequent asthma attacks, sinus infections, and allergy affecting the respiratory tract are more prone to develop nasal polyps.

Nasal Polyps Treatment

Conventional treatments available for nasal polyps are as follows –

–       For eliminating one or more small-sized nasal polyps, a prescription of steroid nasal drops or sprays may help.  They work by bringing down the inflammation and sometimes may be successful in shrinking the polyps.  The recommended dosage is generally two squirts in each nostril daily.

More bothersome polyps may require a short course of steroid tablets along with nasal drops/sprays.  However, long-term steroid use is never recommended for they can cause adverse side effects like –

a)  headaches; b)  weight gain; c)  sore throat; d)  nose bleeds; and e)  hypertension.

–       If the condition is not able to be managed well with steroid use, then surgical removal will remain to be the only option, especially if the episodes of nasal polyps are recurrent and are accompanied by attacks of bleeding from the nose.

Polypectomy – Nasal polyps that are rather small and near the opening of the nasal cavity can be easily removed by a polypectomy procedure.  Here, the opening of the nose is widened using small surgical clamps, after which the polyps are removed using forceps or wire loops.  This is generally done under a general anesthetic and a dressing will be placed to stop any resultant bleeding.

Endoscopic Surgery for Nasal Polyp Removal – This type of procedure involves the use of an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube attached with a camera at one end, that is passed into the nasal cavity to get a better view of the nose and sinuses.  Once the location of the polyps is noted, a laser device is then passed to burn away the polyps.

The entire procedure is conducted under a local anesthetic that numbs the nasal tissues, making it a painless process.

From both the procedures, complications that can occur are –

a) constant nosebleeds

b) infection at the site of surgery

Also, even after removing nasal polyps using either of the above procedures, the chance of them recurring again still remains high.

Nasal polyps that are persistently bleeding will require immediate surgical help.