A polyp in the nose is caused by swelling of the delicate nasal lining. There can be many reasons for a nasal polyp to form, but infection, inflammation of the lining of the nose and allergies are the most common cause. Polyps lead to blockage of the breathing passages, headache and facial pain, sinus infection, nasal bleeding and loss of smell. Polyps that persist for long periods of time damage delicate nasal tissues, which can result in bleeding and foul nasal odor. Longstanding polyps can even thin out or destroy the nasal bone and lining tissue.
Small nasal polyps are often cured by medications or minor surgery. Larger polyps may require sinus surgery to remove the abnormal tissue. In rare instances polyps can even be cancerous.
Polyps originating in nasal tissue have a tendency to return, even after total removal at surgery. In these cases, Dr. Volpi uses sophisticated surgical technology in the operating room to remove the blockage of breathing and smell. Image guided surgery allows more complete removal of large polyps to open blocked sinus passages. Patients with large polyps may require ongoing care to reduce the likelihood of their return, using special topical and inhaled medications and irrigations to deter polyps from reforming.