Question from a reader regarding the PolypVac for nasal polyposis

The patient writes:

“I’ve started to research the  PolypVac as an alternative to traditional surgery for the removal of nasal polyps. I’ve have had little results with spray steroids but greater success with orally taking prednisone tablets (10mgs.) to shrink the polyps. However, this has only provided temporary relief with re-occurrence after about 4-6 months.”

My response:

The polypvac is a device designed to surgically remove nasal polyps in the office rather than the operating room. I prefer to perform the surgery in the operating room whenever possible because of several main reasons:

  1. polyps can be very bloody and bleeding could be very hard to control in the office setting, leading to aspiration and need for a painful nasal packing
  2.  I can generally remove more polyps in the OR which provides more relief and longer lasting benefits.
  3. Insurance companies are more familiar with traditional surgery and will often reject claims for in-office procedures (this varies significantly by region)

There are some real handy uses for this technology: I would consider employing it if the patient had a major reason for not being able to go under general anesthesia such as:

  1. Severe comorbidities such as heart & lung disease
  2. Their polyps were clearly limited to the more accessible parts of the nose

Some additional explanation:

Below is a picture that shows the extent of polyp removal that is possible with traditional surgery versus the polypvac. The green outline shows where I can safely reach polyps in the office with a polyvac and the blue line shows what can be done in the operating room.