Nasal Polyps Seattle

Chronic sinusitis and sinus problems tend to cause additional problems that may worsen your symptoms. Treating related conditions and sinusitis can lead to a cessation of uncomfortable symptoms. Although, occasionally other symptoms may need treatment to find total relief. One of these conditions is nasal polyps. Dr. David Santos at Sinusitis In Seattle is a premier ENT doctor and surgeon who effectively treats conditions of the sinuses. Sinusitis In Seattle provides the best treatment for nasal polyps Seattle offers.


Nasal polyps are soft, teardrop shaped growths that can grow in the sinuses and nasal passages. They occur due to chronic inflammation and irritation in these areas. They can block the sinuses and passages which may cause or worsen congestion.

Sometimes patients can see the structures inside the nose. However, they generally lack sensation. Nasal polyps may not cause any symptoms as well. This means you can have polyps but have no awareness of them. 

Commonly, polyps occur with other chronic conditions. Though they do sometimes develop in patients who do not suffer from a chronic or recurrent sinus condition. They are also frequently seen in people with respiratory conditions. 



Nasal polyps usually form due to chronic or recurrent congestion and inflammation. This normally occurs with conditions such as chronic sinusitis. The specific scientific cause of nasal polyps is not fully understood because not all people with chronic inflammation develop polyps. However, people with certain conditions and disorders have a higher likelihood of having them than those without. Some of these conditions include:

  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Aspirin sensitivity
  • Allergies
  • Fungal sinusitis
  • Recurrent sinusitis
  • Churg-Strauss Syndrome
  • Hay fever



Nasal polyps can worsen any existing symptoms you have, such as nasal congestion, sinus pressure, and headaches. However, polyps can block the nose and sinuses. Thus, causing new symptoms to appear. A few symptoms associated with nasal polyps are:

  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffed nose
  • Decrease or loss of smell and taste
  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Upper teeth or jaw pain
  • Frequent or new nosebleeds
  • Snoring
  • Facial pressure (especially around the cheekbones and forehead)






Consultation And Diagnosis

Dr. David Santos at Sinusitis In Seattle can diagnose and treat nasal polyps. He can also address concurrent sinus problems such as chronic rhinosinusitis and sinus headaches. If you have not received a diagnosis of nasal polyps, Dr. Santos will begin by performing a full evaluation. This will include discussing your general medical history as well as your history of sinus symptoms. He will also perform a physical exam of the area. This may help him identify contributing factors such as a deviated septum.

Along with your consultation and physical exam, Dr. Santos may want other tests. These will allow him to look deeper into the nasal cavities and sinuses. These methods will let him look for polyps not visible through the nostrils. Some of the most common areas for nasal polyps to develop include the maxillary sinuses which requires further evaluation to find.

Along with testing to find the polyps, Dr. Santos may also use various forms of evaluation to identify the cause. Overall, if desired, further testing may include:

  • CT scan
  • Endoscopy
  • Allergy testing
  • Testing for cystic fibrosis (typically when they occur in children)
  • Blood tests (only when the cause is unknown)


Non-Surgical Treatments

In mild cases of nasal polyps, Dr. Santos may recommend non-surgical treatments before resorting to surgery. Some types of nose sprays and steroid treatments can shrink the size of nasal polyps. Examples of these treatments include corticosteroid spray and steroid injections. This is usually supplemented by treatment for sinusitis or the underlying cause of the polyps.

Generally, non-surgical treatment is geared towards long term management of nasal polyps. Although, in some cases, it can eliminate nasal polyps. It is usually only recommended in minor cases where the polyps are not majorly obstructing breathing.


Preparation For Surgery

When non-surgical methods fail to treat polyps, or if they are causing major breathing problems, Dr. Santos may recommend surgery. Nasal polyp removal surgery in Seattle is similar to sinus surgery and performed at Sinusitis In Seattle as an outpatient procedure.

To prepare for surgery, Dr. Santos may request that you stop certain medications. He will also give you instructions on how to prepare the day before surgery. Since the surgery usually utilizes general anesthesia, you may need to refrain from eating and drinking for several hours before surgery.


Nasal Polyp Surgery

After you are sedated under general anesthesia, Dr. Santos will begin surgery. Similar to sinus surgery, Dr. Santos will insert a thin tube into the nostrils. He will then guide it into the areas where polyps exist. He may use imaging technology such as an endoscope or CT scan to ensure the removal of all polyps. 

Using small instruments inserted through the tube, Dr. Santos will carefully remove nasal polyps. Depending on the circumstances, he can also perform sinus surgery at the same time to widen the passages of the sinuses. This not only reduces inflammation but can prevent polyps from reforming.



Following your surgery, Dr. Santos will likely prescribe a steroidal nose spray. This can relieve some of the inflammation and pain associated with recovery, but it also hinders polyp regrowth. Many patients do not find the need for prescription painkillers following surgery and the recovery is relatively minimal.

Dr. Santos will generally recommend taking a week or so off work to recover and feel comfortable. Patients may experience some bloody discharge for a few days and generally feel fatigued for about a week. If you have a sedentary job, Dr. Santos may clear you for return to work sooner than one week. Though, this occurs on a case-by-case basis.

As far as exercising, you will need to completely cease strenuous exercise for at least a week. Dr. Santos will encourage you to walk and do daily activities as you feel up to it, but avoid anything exertional. Depending on your progress, light exercise may begin again after one or two weeks. Returning to your full exercise routine generally takes around four to six weeks.


Can You Remove Nasal Polyps Yourself?

No. While some may be tempted to try and remove visible ones, this can damage the tissues of the nose leading to injury or further worsening inflammation. It is best to leave nasal polyp removal to the professionals like Dr. Santos.

Do Children Get Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps most frequently occur in adults. However, some children do get them. Though, they are rare under the age of ten. In children, nasal polyps are usually in response to an infection and do not recur. Sometimes allergies or asthma contribute. Children with severe cases, who experience recurrence, or who have nasal polyps on both sides of the nose or face, may consider cystic fibrosis testing.

Will I Need Surgery?

Not always, not every patient requires surgical treatment. Dr. Santos can determine whether surgical or non-surgical methods are the best route for your nasal polyp treatment in Seattle.

However, if nasal polyps restrict your breathing, cause snoring, or interfere with daily life, Dr. Santos will likely recommend surgery. You can discuss your preferences for treatment during a consultation.

Can Nasal Polyps Come Back?

Yes, they can recur. This is common in people with chronic problems that do not receive proper treatment. Sometimes, polyps can come back for no identifiable reason. Patients most likely to see nasal polyps recur are those with chronic problems such as cystic fibrosis, chronic sinusitis, and allergies. They are a frequent cause of revision sinus surgery.

Can I Treat Nasal Polyps Naturally?

Other than the non-surgical treatments discussed above, there are no distinctly “natural” treatments for nasal polyps. Nasal rinsing, steaming, and other home remedies for sinusitis may also relieve symptoms. However, when symptoms are severe, only medical treatments will provide the best relief.

If your polyps cause no issues or symptoms, there is no reason to treat them. In this situation, likely, you will not even know you have nasal polyps.

Are Nasal Polyps Cancerous?

The vast majority of nasal polyps are benign, or noncancerous. Polyps rarely indicate cancer. Occasionally, polyps may appear misshapen or look like cancerous growths. In these cases, Dr. Santos may request that they are tested following removal. Generally, they do not indicate cancer.


If you believe that you may have nasal polyps or are looking for the best sinus surgeon in Seattle, Dr. David Santos at Sinusitis In Seattle provides the best nasal polyp treatment and removal. Sinusitis In Seattle features a premier clinic and surgical facility with state-of-the-art technology. Located just outside of Seattle to best serve patients from Seattle and beyond, Sinusitis In Seattle offers the best treatment for sinus disorders in the Greater Seattle area.

Dr. David Santos is a board-certified otolaryngologist with years of experience treating nasal polyps and other sinus problems. He is an accomplished surgeon who is often called upon for his expertise and mastery. With decades of experience and a commitment to continuing his education, Dr. Santos is among one of the top sinus surgeons in Seattle.

To learn more and schedule a consultation, give us a call at 206-242-3696. You can also contact us online via our contact form.

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