Associated with allergies, asthma, recurring infections, or sensitivity to medication, chronic nasal inflammation can trigger benign growths called nasal polyps. While they rarely have symptoms of their own, they can interfere with natural drainage of the nasal passages and sinuses.
Ethmoid sinus surgery is a common approach to fix impaired drainage, but it’s often not a permanent solution. You have a 35% chance of developing nasal polyps within six months of your procedure, increasing to 40% after eight months.
Otolaryngologist Alexis Furze, MD, whose practice is in Newport Beach, California, recommends the SINUVA™ nasal stent for patients who develop nasal polyps after sinus surgery. The SINUVA procedure is simple and minimally invasive, and it reduces your chances of needing additional polyp surgery later.
The mystery of nasal polyps
It’s not completely understood why nasal polyps develop in some people and not others. There are signs that individual immune system responses play a role. While they’re more common in younger adults, polyps can develop in people of any age. Growing from the mucous membrane of the nose and sinuses, polyps are most troublesome when they develop around the ethmoid sinuses.
Symptoms of nasal polyps include:
- Runny nose and postnasal drip
- Feelings of frequent stuffiness
- Reduced or lost senses of smell or taste
- Feelings of pressure in your face or forehead
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Aching in your upper teeth
These symptoms usually result from drainage problems aggravated by nasal polyps, not the polyps themselves, which are soft and without sensitivity.
Nasal polyps can often be treated with corticosteroids, which can cause polyps to shrink or even disappear completely. Corticosteroids can be delivered by way of pill or injection if the polyps are severe, but nasal sprays are the most commonly prescribed form of treatment.
If corticosteroids don’t reduce the size of the polyps, endoscopic surgery is usually the next step. With functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), Dr. Furze can remove the polyps and other tissues that could be interfering with nasal drainage.
And while doctors often prescribe corticosteroid sprays to use after surgery as well, it’s still common for polyps to reappear later. That’s where the SINUVA procedure comes in.
In the past, the regrowth of nasal polyps typically meant another surgery. However, a sinus implant loaded with a corticosteroid called mometasone furoate may help stop this cycle. Under the brand name SINUVA, it’s the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved implant treatment for nasal polyps for patients who have already had FESS surgery.
The SINUVA stent is easily placed under local anesthetic during a one-hour appointment with Dr. Furze. He and his team are SINUVA implant specialists. The advantage of SINUVA is that the active steroid ingredient is in direct contact with the tissue in the treatment area.
Resembling the framework of an umbrella, the SINUVA implant presses against nasal polyp tissue and slowly releases its corticosteroid constantly over its 90-day treatment period. The implant allows for improved airflow from the time of the procedure, with breathing efficiency increasing as polyp tissue shrinks.
You can continue to use steroid nose sprays while using the SINUVA implant for an extra burst of topical medication.
To learn more about SINUVA and how it may be able to help you, call 949-389-6673 to book an appointment with the practice of Alexis Furze, MD, today.