What is polyp?
Polyp means sagging of the mucosa inside an hollow organ. Polyps can occur in all mucosal linings like digestive system, respiratory system etc. Nasal polyps are mucosal saggings into the sinuses and nasal passages changing in number and bigness. It mostly starts as a damage of the mucosa.
What causes polyps?
Exact mechanism is not known but persistant irritation causing mucosal damage is suspected. Chronic infections, chronic irritaion of the nose, familial reasons can cause polyps. They occur in some astma and nearly all cystic fibrosis cases also.
What do they cause?
They obstruct the nasal passage and can cause mouth breathing, headache, snoring, sleep apnea, dry mouth and irritation, prolongation of rhinitis and sinusitis, smelling impairments, postnasal drainage and triggering asthma because of postnasal drip.
How are polyps treated?
When they form they do not disappear by themselves mostly. At the beginning they can be very small but gradually they become bigger and bigger. Tiny ones can be treated by drugs but bigger ones mostly need operation to be treated.
Nasal polyp operations are becoming more efficient with the developments of some technical facilities recently. Operations are mostly done from inside the nose with the help of endoscopes. These are more physiologic, less traumatic and more comfortable operations.
Do polyps recur?
We can divide patients with nasal polyps into two. One goup is in which there is not any associated disease with the polyp. Succes of functional endoscopic sinus surgery in these patinets are above 90%. But if the patients have asthma, cystic fibrosis, Samter’s syndrome polyps recur in time.