What Does a Nasal Polyp Look Like?
A nasal polyp is a clump of cells that forms inside your nasal passage or sinuses.
- The shape of the clump resembles a grape on a stalk (also called a pedunculated polyp).
- The color of the polyp can vary: appearing grey, yellow or pink.
- The size of the polyp can also vary.
A small polyp located in your nasal passage may be hard to see. Due to the location of your sinuses (behind your cheekbones/eyes/forehead and on the side of your nose), you will not be able to see a nasal polyp in your sinuses.
You can develop a nasal polyp if your nasal passages or sinuses become inflamed due to conditions like asthma, allergies, immune disorders or infections. The longer these areas are swollen, the higher your risk of developing nasal polyps.
The good news is that most nasal polyps are non-cancerous. Large nasal polyps can, however, cause discomfort such as headaches, runny/stuffed nose, sinus pain and a reduction of your smell and taste senses. Over time, nasal polyps can lead to a sinus infection if left untreated.
An Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) specialist will be able to diagnose nasal polyps and provide treatment. Antibiotics can help clear up a sinus infection and may help clear up a nasal polyp. If that course of treatment is unsuccessful, an ENT may recommend:
- Balloon Sinus Dilation: Insertion of a tiny balloon into your sinus passage. The balloon is inflated briefly to expand the blocked passage and reshape the area. This restores airflow and sinus drainage.
- Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: Using an endoscope (a very thin fiber optic tube), the doctor examines the openings into the sinuses and then removes any abnormal or obstructive tissues.
- Image-guided Surgery: A CT scan is combined with endoscopic surgery for greater visual precision. This may be recommended if you have a severe infection, have had previous sinus surgery or if the anatomy of your sinus passage is unusual.
- Polypectomy: Careful removal of nasal polyps from the nasal passage using forceps, a microdebrider or a through-cutting instrument.
Our doctors are Ear Nose & Throat specialists offering nasal polyp treatment in Phoenix. If you or a loved one are suffering from nasal discomfort, we can assess your condition and offer treatment recommendations.