A nasal polypectomy is the surgical removal of nasal polyps, usually under general anaesthetic.
Polyps are swellings in the nasal lining that may obstruct the nasal passages causing a blocked nose and reducing the sense of smell. Surgery to remove nasal polyps is usually only recommended if steroid medication has not been successful in treating them, or if the polyps are particularly large
Surgery is normally carried out under general anaesthetic so you’ll be asleep during the operation. Using an endoscope (a tube with a video camera at one end) to see inside your nose and sinuses, the surgeon will insert a tiny instrument called a microdebrider (a tiny rotary vacuum shaver) through a nostril to remove the polyps. Operating through your nostrils in this way means that no incision is needed on the face.
Often you’ll be able to go home on the same day as your operation. Before you go home we’ll check that there is no bleeding from your nose and we’ll discuss follow-up visits and any medication with you before you leave hospital.
You’ll need to rest for a couple of weeks after surgery. During this time your nose will probably feel congested or blocked due to a bloody nasal discharge which may also cause crusting inside the nose. These symptoms should disappear after two or three weeks.
If you’ve been given some medication then it’s important to carry on taking it as advised by your surgeon. It's fairly common for nasal polyps to recur (grow back) within a few years, so any treatment may need to be repeated. Steroid spray, if used regularly over the long-term, can help delay the return of nasal polyps.
Most people will experience a significant improvement in their symptoms. However, it is fairly common for nasal polyps to recur (grow back) within a few years. Other possible risks of a nasal polypectomy include persistent nose-bleeds (which may need additional surgery) and an infection at the site of the procedure (which can be treated with antibiotics).
Steroid spray can often help shrink nasal polyps, and surgery to remove them is usually only suggested when this method has been unsuccessful.