Recovery Room


My recovery is ongoing, of course. After all, my ENT says it takes a few seasons for your sinuses to acclimate – it’s like you have new sinuses, he says. I guess he’s kinda right. Polyp-free sinuses, is more like it though.

It’s been about a month since the surgery and, well, I’m feeling good. First off, I can breathe. Praise God. Seriously, if you have nasal polyps for any length of time (in my case, 10 years), it’s just nutso to discover you can breathe again – all the time. So cool.

But what’s the recovery been like since the day of the surgery and what can you expect if you do it?

Read on to find out.


This is the worst period. At least for me, it was.

My sinuses were filled with packing (not all ENTs do this, so check. I’ve heard the new gel they use now is great, but not everybody’s situation will allow for it).

They pack your sinuses to keep you from bleeding copiously. So you can breathe, they jam a couple of straws in there too. If you couldn’t breathe before the surgery most the time, like me, well, this probably will feel almost better than most days living with polyps. At least you have the hope of improvement during this time, so it makes it endurable.

These first days I slept like 18 hours out of everyday. You’re on Vicodin and Valium (at least I was) to manage the pain and to keep you chill.  You can’t smell much, so my appetite was marginal. But I did eat plenty, just didn’t taste much.

(Above: It looks worse than it was. I was just sleeping here. Promise.)

(A shot of the gauze bandage beneath my nose. You wear this so any nasal discharge drips into this. You change it periodically. Like nose diapers. It’s no big deal. Kinda gross though, huh?)

I sat around a lot, because, well, you’re supposed to.  They don’t want you dead lifting a cow or moving a 100-inch flat screen.  So you sit around. Sleep. Take pain killers. Eat. Repeat. You’re pretty woosey so you want to do much anyways.

(See, even with nasal packing and stints shoved up my nose, I’m smiling.)

These first 4 days were the worst and they weren’t even that bad. You hear horror stories about this period if search around online, but for me, if wasn’t that bad at all.


This is when they removed my packing. This meant, I was going under again. My particular ENT puts you under for the packing removal. In his words, “that way there’s no pain and I can clean you even better cuz you’re not moving around”.

I’ve heard the removal of the packing is the worst part for most people, cuz many ENTs remove it while you’re awake. Sadists.

So, I was happy to go under again for this. This time I was far less scared. It’s like anything, the more you do something, the less fear you have of it.

When I was under he cleaned my sinuses out as well. (You have to continue to go back for cleanings for the next month or two. This ensure that your sinuses heal properly.)

Funny story here about the magic that is anesthesia. As they were about to remove the dreaded packing, I realized, hold on, I was awake and aware of what was going on. So, I let them know, “hey, I’m awake, so before you go any further with this, uh, you might want to give me more sleepy gas”.

“You’re already done. You’re in the recovery room”, a nurse says in response. The cleaning and packing removal was already over. It’s crazy how it feels like no time elapses when they put you under. It’s actually kinda cool.

An hour later my mom drove me home cuz they don’t want you taking out a bus full of school children on the way home cuz you’re impaired still from the anesthesia.

(God bless you, Mom for taking care of me those first 4 days. You rock!!!)

Now, I could REALLY breathe. My nose burned a bit. You still need to wear that gauze to catch the drip from your sinuses and to help keep them moist. But things really start to get better from here on.


I’m already out in my garage doing little chores. I’m not supposed to be doing anything, but man, I feel so much better.

I take walks with my wife and daughter. Throw the ball with the dog. Talk to neighbors (they’re all curious cuz I look like Hannibal Lecter with the gauze pad under my nose).

(Hannibal Lecter out for jaunt with his daughter in the park.)

My nose burns a bit from all the fresh air. I imagine that all that inflammation from the surgery is what I’m feeling. Again, no big deal. In fact, I’m just loving that I can breathe.

By the 7th day, I’m restless. Hey, I don’t sit around well. I want to go to the gym. I want to take a hike. I want to play golf. But I don’t. I mostly relax and follow the ENT’s orders.

(Note: In total, I take about 2 weeks off work. I think that was a good thing, cuz you really are run down and you do need the rest. And you don’t need stress since you’re healing from what is a pretty major surgery.)


I see the ENT for another cleaning. This one wasn’t as fun. I was awake to see him stick these little vacuum instruments – deeper than you’d like to think any one should stick a metal instrument – in my head.

He also need to remove my “stints”. The “stints” are like plastic things that are the shape of a guitar pick, but 3 times bigger. They’re there to keep your septum straight and open. I had no idea they were even in my nose cuz you couldn’t really feel them.

What I did feel was the ENT removing them. First, he had to remove a stitch. This was the most painful moment of the whole experience. I’m 39. I’m a man. My eyes watered. Okay, fine, I was crying.

After the stitch was removed, he pulled these mega-guitar picks out of my nose. That wasn’t exactly a pleasure cruise either. But not that big of a deal.

Thankfully it was over quickly. And the pain subsided quickly too.


The one thing that does happen as you recover is you produce some pretty disgusting drainage from your sinuses during this time.

One evening (evenings seemed to be when I always noticed “it” happening), I thought, is that a polyp I’m feeling up in my nose? A polyp he missed? Cuz somethin’ is flappin’ around in there. When “it” dislodged and slipped down the back of my throat I realized, no, that’s not a polyp, that’s a chunk of mucous/coagulated blood from hell. Insane.

That kept happening and keeps happening for 6 weeks, I’m told.

One other night, I felt something big in there. This about 14 days after surgery. So I blew my nose, which my ENT said was fine to do at this point.

Again, the most insane thing came out of my nose. Was IT a booger? Was IT a forgotten, excised polyp that the ENT missed? Was IT a chunk of coagulated blood? And most importantly, was IT alive?

I’ve never had anything this big come out of my nose.  IT stretched my nostril opening when IT slipped out and onto to my Kleenex like a new-born moose being birthed by its proud mother.

My first instinct was to flush IT. But then I realized, I couldn’t just flush IT down the toilet. I wanted the world to see IT. Otherwise no one would believe me. Here IT is below. Forgive me for showing you IT, but I just had to. IT’s too awesome to be kept in obscurity.

(Penny is there for size reference. But you can’t help but notice that even Old Abe is in utter awe as he stares down the beast that lived in my nose)

(Another view, in case you hadn’t seen enough.)


Well, things seem to just be getting better and better.

Breathing great. Haven’t been sick yet.  Seems like my sense of smell is returning.

My ENT says things will just keep getting even better over time.

Of course, he also said that when someone has polyps as bad as I did, there’s a good chance they’ll come back. But I’m just trying to not think about that right now.  And I’m hoping that perhaps I’ll defy the odds, which according to studies, there’s about a 50% chance I’ll be getting them again. Oh well. I’ll take those odds. It’s better than a 100% chance the polyps will return.

I’ll update with any posts if anything new worth sharing turns up.

6 MONTHS LATER. WE HAVE HEALTHY SINUSES, HOUSTON. Update: Wednesday 6:06pm, July 6th, 2011

To say my life has changed would be an understatement. I forgot what normal was because now that I’m normal I can’t believe I lived with that horrible sinus condition. I can’t believe I put up with that condition for so long.

I would say, before I had this surgery, I was sick every month for 10 days. Miserable. Stuffed up. Couldn’t breathe. And I think I was actually really damaging my health because I couldn’t get out of the vicious cycle of sinus infections, constant colds and a compromised immune system.

The improvement since the surgery? 100%. No kidding. I haven’t had a cold in 6 months. My nose is never stuffed. I can taste. I can breathe. It’s like I got a second chance at life.

Besides removing the polyps, I also received shots that helps bolster my immune system. It’s called, Gammastan, I believe. I’m telling you, it’s a game-changer. My wife, my daughter – they catch vicious colds – but I don’t. Insane. I used to catch everything – every single virus out there. 

Well, that’s where it sits for now. Will the polyps come back? Maybe. But so far, they’re nowhere to be found. If they do, will I hesitate to do the surgery again? Uh, no. The benefit is tremendous. And in the hands of a skilled ENT,  it’s a no-brainer.

If you have polyps and you’re miserable. Don’t be scared. Do the surgery. I promise you the relief is worth it. Find a competent doctor who’s done the surgery 1000s of times.  Remove this blight from your life. You don’t have live with it. It’s pretty painless – forget the horror stories. It’s no big deal. You can handle it no problem.


Some people have asked me how I’m doing now, one year later. And the answer is: very good. First, I’ve a had second baby, so that’s good right there.

But my sinuses are what you’re curious about, right? For all intents and purposes, I’ve been symptom-free for over a year. I think I’ve had one cold the entire year. Zero sinus infections. I see my sinus doctor for regular check-ups, receive a Gammastan shot – to boost my immunity – every 3 weeks (when there isn’t a shortage).

As for the polyps, well, all I can say is I don’t see any so far (I used to actually be able to see them in my nose). The doctor keeps giving me a clean bill of health as I am symptom-free.

An interesting aside: I had some teeth removed so I had to do some x-rays and the dentist pointed out an area that seemed inflamed in my sinuses. I asked my ENT about it, he said it was possible that it was inflamed but so far I’m not showing symptoms so we’re good to go for now.

So, do I wonder if there going to come back? Yeah, everyday. And, of course, the doctor has said a million times they very well could come back, given my sinus polyps we’re about as bad as he ever sees (he called it Stage 4). I also know that if they ever do come back I will do the surgery again. It’s just misery living with them. I’d rather go through a couple of weeks of pain and get my life back then live with them when I don’t have to. U

Until the next update, sinus sufferers, hang in there. Hit me with any questions or to commiserate anytime.

UPDATE: 2 1/2 Years LATER – July 2nd, 2013

Figured it was time to post another update, so here it is: I’m feeling great. No new polyps (that I’m aware of). Of course, I also have not been back for a check-in with my doctor in about 6 months. A mix of a crazy work schedule, purchase of a new home and just a crazy busy family life (two kids now) and, well, I’ve lapsed on my check-ins. So truthfully, I don’t have a clean bill of health from the doctor, but as far as symptoms go, nothing has changed. My sinuses are clear, I rarely get sick and I seem to be continuing on good path. I couldn’t be more pleased with where I’m at 2 and 1/2 years later.

I continue to do nasal rinses with a steroid and antibiotic that I add to the saline mix. I do this every other day – well, I’m supposed to, but I admit, I’ve been less than perfect in doing this religiously. I find the saline rinses just help keep me clear in general, so if you can do them – i.e. have clear enough sinus passages to do them – they’re great.  I also have oral steroids, along with antibiotics that I have on hand should I need them, but I almost never take them, because I rarely feel I need to symptom-wise.

So, that’s where it stands. Nothing dramatic to report, but that’s really good news. I’ll update again when I get a check-up from the doc. The journey continues, but this has been a pleasant leg of it to be sure.

Here’s to clear breathing.

UPDATE: 5 Years LATER – Jan 16, 2016

People often ask how I’m doing now… Well the answer is: great! I still don’t see any new polyps. Every so often I beam a flashlight up in my nostrils and sometimes I think I see something but nothing too problematic at this point. 

My doctor recently retired. I am still so very thankful for what you did for me. 

I’m actually suffering from a bit of a cold at the moment, but unlike in the past, where my cold would evolve into a full blown sinus infection, that is not the case now.

And on another totally unrelated piece of news, I just published a book. If you enjoy this blog, then you might enjoy the book, particularly if you have to work with people and get along – don’t we all?

Check it out:

Collaborate or Die: How Being a Jerk Kills Ideas and Careers



296 Comments so far
Leave a comment

That lump that came out of your nose is nothing compared to what comes out several days after child birth ; )

Comment by Freeky

????? why even mention this here??

Comment by guest

Thanks for your thorough blog posting! I just came out of sinus surgery (had 5 things done but can’t remember what all). I am sitting here 2 days later pretty miserable. I go tomorrow for my post-op and hopefully “straw” removal. I was told I’ll feel much better after this. I hate this gauze under my nose, and I hope it stops soon. Anyway, your blog has given me some hope. Thanks again!

Comment by Amy Berkshire

Hopefully, you’re feeling better now!!! Lemme know!

Comment by brettcraig

My husband had the surgery today. He did not get the straws, but he has the packing. This is his 3rd surgery for polyps, and it is well worth it everytime. Thanks for the information of the Gammastan shot. We will diffently will be checking into it.

Comment by Scotty Brasher

how’s your husband feeling? Hope better!

Comment by brettcraig

i want to thank you guys so much for this info..ive been dealing with this issue for over 5years and ive been miserable and unsure if the surgery would help…the first thing monday morning im scheduling for a surgery from my dr. thanx again for giving me hope because i really was going insane…

Comment by Amon Hudson

Let me know how it goes!!!!

Comment by BC

I appreciate your honesty and humor sharing your struggle with everyone. I have been suffering from nose polyps for about 5 years now and have seen them get slowly grow. I also have the double curse of sleep apnea and polyps.
I progressed through all the treatments under the care of an ENT and nothing seemed to help. He tells me the only option is surgery .
I went through a series of 3 other surgeries in 07, 08, and 09.
After all that I have decided that I will not have surgery on my nose. I am pursuing other approaches, including herbal detoxing my body. Gave up beer, alcohol, dairy, beef and pork. I have also used sanicle which has the ability to dissolve tumors within the body. I am keeping the polyps to a minimum at the moment. The good news from all this is that I have lost 40 lbs and am feeling better than I have in years even though I cannot breathe through my nose and have lost sence of smell and taste..

I am using products from a company call Life Extension and started a thread there on their blog to seek out anyone there who has had any success at all.

I have just retired and am approaching my health as a full time job from information technology point of view . Another good place to find information on cutting edge medicine is the books by Ray Kurzweil. He has become my teacher on my quest to restore my own health after 30 years in the bar/restaurant business.
Good Luck
Capt. Buck

Comment by Ken Rissler

Hilarious…… its’ like you carbon copyed my experience. But me the ( stupid guy – yes I said it…) Told the ENT to remove all while he was in there, so tonsils, ulva, nose = alot of pain at once. So after 3 days in hopsital they let me go home.. now just freaking peoplle out, by coupghing / spitting out all the leftovers.

It is amazing how weird everything smells.

Enjoy your fresh air…. I certainly am.

Comment by John

fantastic… glad you’re breathing clear. Hope you still are!

Comment by brettcraig

help! i’m 2 days away from having my polyps removed through surgery! scared to the point of panic! lol


Comment by simon

Hey Simon,

I know it’s scary. You’ll get through it. And the difference it makes is incredible.

I remember being so freaked out! Took a valium the night before to calm down.

But once they hit you with gas, you’ll be feeling no pain, my friend. And then, next thing you know, its over and you’re done. In a flash

Im a year out and the surgery is a distant memory but the good breathing is all I notice and the fact that I rarely get sick now.

Good luck, Simon.

Comment by brettcraig

how’d it go? Hope well!!

Comment by brettcraig

Thanks so much for your blog, great information for someone thinking about have their polyps removed. Can you please give a brief update on how your recovery has gone. Are your sinuses still polyp-free? Do you still recommend the proceedure 100%? Additional insights. Thanks! Stephen

Comment by stephen

I’m updating with latest on my situ now. Good luck, Stephen. Holler if you have any questions.

Comment by brettcraig

Hey! that is pretty much how it goes, i had polyps removed in 2009, now im going in again. I guess i have “angry polyps” the doctor told me, last friday i bled out so much i had to go to the ER for a transfusion. Pretty scary, but i hope this second time with be the last time. Hope everything is great with you now!

Comment by Austin ballou

I’m sorry to hear they came back. These things are terrible. How’d the surgery go? Hope well, my friend.

Comment by brettcraig

I went to the ENT today, and found out I have nasal polyps too, I have had several sinus infections, and been to the doctor several times, NO ONE EVER MENTIONED THIS TO ME, all the exams they did looking up my nose (all anyone has ever said is that I have some swelling in my nose, even at the ER), now they want me to have surgery in 7 days, during that time I have to take 5 steroid pills per day, and 2 antibiotic pills 2x’s a day. They said this will help shrink the polyps so they can work on them. They are going to operate on me on my birthday of all days. I am so scared, and feel like crying. I keep thinking I’m not in the best of health, I have severe asthma, anxiety, and I’m on so much medications, I have to take at least 5-7 different medications per day. I am so scared. I am reading your story so that I get a much better understanding of what to expect. My hope is to get the understanding of what will happen, so maybe it will ease my mind just a little.

I went to the ENT today, and found out I have nasal polyps too, I have had several sinus infections, and been to the doctor several times, NO ONE EVER MENTIONED THIS TO ME, all the exams they did looking up my nose (all anyone has ever said is that I have some swelling in my nose, even at the ER), now they want me to have surgery in 7 days, during that time I have to take 5 steroid pills per day, and 2 antibiotic pills 2x’s a day. They said this will help shrink the polyps so they can work on them. They are going to operate on me on my birthday of all days. I am so scared, and feel like crying. I keep thinking I’m not in the best of health, I have severe asthma, anxiety, and I’m on so much medications, I have to take at least 5-7 different medications per day. I am so scared. I am reading your story so that I get a much better understanding of what to expect. My hope is to get the understanding of what will happen, so maybe it will ease my mind just a little.
I have read your “RECOVERY” section and honestly I am still scared, but I can’t wait to have my smell back, I lost it about 2years ago, all my food taste the same, I miss those days when I could taste and my food was soooo good. I have had these about 3 years now that I am aware of anyway, I can see them all the time. Before I knew what they were I actually used to think it was mucus that needed to be blown out. At one time (not knowing what this was) I actually tried to grab it with tweezers thinking that I could get them out and breathe again. Needless to say that did not work. In fact as I tried to get them out I could hear what sounded like bone. But I knew it wasn’t, it hurt so bad my eyes watered. In fact the only thing that seemed to help me was when my asthma got so bad I needed to be put on prednisone (steroids pills) and an antibiotic. When I was on them it was so nice, not only did it help my asthma, but I was able to breath, sleep, and even smell again.
I remember after my daughter gave my little granddaughter a bath, and she handed her to me to get her dressed, I was able to smell her again. She used the lavender shampoo and I remember smelling her hair, and smelling the shampoo. But because my smell came back, after being gone for so long everything was as if I had “super smell” everything was so intense. I even got sick to my stomach a little at times.
Honestly after reading your blog, I can say I’m a little scared still. But I can’t wait till everything is done and over with. I just still worry about my medical history, and all my other medications giving me a hard time. But I sure can’t wait to be able to smell my grand baby again. It just scares me, I had someone that was very close to me go in for a simple procedure and die on the table. But my mom says we need to stay positive and focus on the good. Because the mind has very strong powers, I had a brother-in-law with brain cancer for 10 years he fought it all the way, although he became unrecognizable he was not giving up, but when his nurse recommended “hospice” come take care of him, in his mind he was losing the battle. Within 2 weeks or so of “hospice” taking care of him, he passed away. So I am trying to keep the “POSITIVE THOUGHTS” but it’s hard sometimes to hide how scared you really are for your kids, and other loved ones.
My doctor gave me the rundown of everything that could happen. Blood in the eye, and could go blind, a closer snip to the brain could cause the brain to leak causing meningitis, and that could kill me. These are scary things to think about. But he said that with using nasal steroids pretty much all my life will cut down on the return of the polyps. And they can return anywhere from 1 year to 20 years if they return at all. (I’m hoping they don’t return at all)
Thanks for sharing your words were very insightful, scary but insightful.

Comment by Dawn

You’re gonna come through just fine. They know what they’re doing. They have to say all that to protect themselves (lawsuit-crazy world). BUT YOU WILL BE FINE!

Comment by brettcraig

Hey Brett, your blog helped calm my nerves a whole lot, so thanks. As it turns out, we have the same ENT. He diagnosed my Samter’s Triad, also known as Aspirin Induced Asthma. I had suffered for years. I saw allergists / ENTs and they all said, you have no allergies, no polyps, just asthma. Bunch of idiots! One office visit with our ENT, and he diagnosed my condition. I had polyps removed 12/12/12. I’m recovering well and can breathe. It’s amazing. Unfortunately, my polyps will return due to the salicylate allergy ( I can’t take any aspirin, NSAIDS, ibuprofen, alkaseltzer, bepto…. some derivative of salicylate is in fruits, vegetables, foods, beauty products…) I seriously have to consider an aspirin challenge. It’s a bit depressing but I am staying positive. So I have my first office visit Christmas Eve, and I’ll inquire about Gammastan immunity boosters. I’ll keep you posted. It’s nice to share our experiences.
Merry Christmas Brett to you and your family. God Bless You.

Comment by Nancy

Thanks, Nancy. Well, I truly hope you stay healthy. I’m so glad you got those nasty polyps out. Do exactly what the doc says. Stay on it. It will definitely help. Happy Holidays to you. Good to hear from you.


Comment by brettcraig

Nancy I am glad your feeling better. I cant wait for my recovery, I just had my polyps removed on my birthday Dec. 26 so im still recovering. but i guess you can say this is the best birthday present i could of ever given my self. and they say now that these have been removed, my asthma should not be so bad. I cant wait.

Comment by Dawn

Dawn, you’ll see how amazing it feels to be able to breath. Sometimes I forget and find myself breathing through my mouth like I would previous the surgery. My headaches are mild now, my teeth are still sensitive though. My only issue is this awful odor coming from my nostrils… I’ve researched the Internet and read its the nasal passages healing. I’ll have to call my ENT to verify…. Minor things to possibly look forward to. Hope your recovery is going well. Stay healthy! Have a wonderful New Year 🙂

Comment by Nancy

Nancy, today i went into the ENT and found out that I guess i did have some splints up my nose to help it heal I actually had no idea. So when I went in for the “checkup” they numbed my sinuses with some kind of spray, I sat there for about 10 min. then the doc came in and pulled out these HUGE plastic things, let me tell you, this seemed to hurt more than the surgery did. now my nose is stinging, and burning but on the up side the pressure i was feeling is pretty much gone. my doctor said that im healing just fine and on a way to a wonderful recovery. my doctor also said that it will take a few more weeks to recover.

he also said that for the rest of my life i will need to take flonaise or how ever you spell it. taking this medication will help the polyps from developing again so fast.

he told me today, that on the day of my surgery he was not prepared to find as many as i had growing, he said that he has no idea how i was even breathing, that when he went into go remove them he could not even see a path to follow to clear them out, he had to just start removing tonz of them to see anything.

since surgery, I have noticed that my teeth are sensative, but have not noticed a smell as of yet. however on the bright side, i am getting my smell back and everything seems to smell sooo good, but highly intensified. (5X’s)

i know when i first started developing these, it was crazy cuz for about a year or so all i smelled was like the tissue in my nose rotting away, the smell of decay was all i ever smelled… that was the worst thing ever.

I would check out the smell thing with the ENT… maybe there was some gauze left up there or something that they thought they got out… I know that happend to a friend of mine. and once they removed it he did not smell that smell anymore.

let me know, and hope you too had a very happy new year.

Comment by Dawn

Just has sinus sergury on Tuesday and only 4 days later i have the creepy booger from hell. I too had to take pictures otherwise not a peron on Earth would believe it. Thanks for comforting me enough to know that it wasn’t a piece of my brain… Ha ha ha! Sinus surgery sucks, but hey better than being sick all of the time…and breathing….man i cant even friggin’ wait.

Comment by chad

Congrats! Hopefully the worst behind you. Yeah, bloody booger thingies are gnarly, i had a strange sense of pride – mixed with a good dose of dread – when I saw that thing!

Good luck! Happy to hear you’re on your way to better breathing!!

Comment by brettcraig

This message is for Brett and Dawn, hi guys! I have some updates for you guys. Before I share though, I’d like to ask- How you guys doing? Dawn, how’s your recovery going? It’s been almost 3 months since my surgery and my symptoms returned…congestion, sinus infections, asthma, fatigue, and an overall feeling of malice. The worst symptom, this awful rotten smell from my nose. I asked my ENT about it and he said I was healing and that I had probably caught a cold. He put me on more antibiotics and steroids. I felt something wasn’t right though and I expressed my concerns but Dr. dismissed my worries. Well, let me tell you, I ended up in the emergency room today because I was choking on gauze. ER doctor pulled 6 inch strip of fermented gauze from my throat that was left in my nasal cavity since surgery! It hurt awful when he pulled it out and there was bleeding. i guess the gauze adhered to my nasal passages. ER doctor said that although human error is a part of life, my ENT had some explaining to do. I respect my ENT a whole lot but I’m quite disappointed. What if theres more gauze left in there? how do i know for sure. can i trust my ENT? Dawn, I believe you said this happened to your friend. That awful “dead” smell coming from my nose is gone…. I think. I have fever and nausea. ER doctor said to look out for toxic shock. I’m on another dose of antibiotics per ER dr.
ENT did tell hubby he had lost 10 percent of packing the day I was admitted for packing removal. You think he’d continue to look in nasal cavity. ER dr. said that if ENT would have looked in my nose with the proper instruments he would have seen packing…. That’s the part that gets me. Should I expect for ENT to pay for ER/ insurance expenses? I’m torn.
Oh and by the way, I started shocking in the middle of singing happy bday to my husband at his bday party. Our poor friends and family had quite a show today.

Comment by Nancy

Oh man! Insane. How are you now? Better? I sure hope so. T
Yea, very frustrating the gauze issue. Obviously honest mistake but my goodness. Are you better now?

Comment by brettcraig

Great page. I’m sitting in Thecwaiting room at a hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Here for my surgery. I now have more of idea what to expect in the next few weeks.

Did they return?

Comment by Peter C

No! They haven’t! Good luck, my friend. Let me know how it goes!!!! You’re gonna love breathing again.

Comment by brettcraig

Thanks for your blog. I had my first lot of polyps when I was 18 removed and they have come back I’m now 39 and its worse than ever…. I REALLY don’t want the surgery I remember all of that packing and splints up my nose etc ….It’s ridiculously embarrassing to have Kleenex 24/7 up my nose. I am just like you, gotten used to it, can’t taste can’t smell people think I’m sick contagious sick it sucks! I can see my polyps hanging it is humiliating! Just really want to try it naturally, did you ever try Tea Tree oil or Hydrogen Peroxide as a spray??

Comment by Melissa

Never tried ’em. But why not try them? I’ve never seen convincing proof that any of that stuff works. But people do claim it does.

I hope you have success!


Comment by brettcraig

One wk out from surgery…already imagining i can feel them coming back. No packing…but run a daycare had my first i cant do it. Run down. Breathing unreal cant wait to see results month out. My paternal grandma had them. And 6 months they returned after that she was diagnosed with pre lieukemia. Hopefully not related. Its been 25 yrs leaps and bounds medically.

Comment by klake

Lets hope they stay away! I’m still clear 2 years later. Best of luck, K!

Comment by brettcraig

Thanks for taking the time to write this and share your experience. It’s taken the edge off me a little. I am having polyps removed in a week. The good news, I guess, is that I only have them on one side. So, I hope they leave my good side alone. Just wondering, did you have intermittent clear, watery drainage before the polyps were removed? I’ve had this regularly from the side with the polyps. My doctor was a little curious about the “unilaterality” of them, but the biopsy came back benign. Most importantly, I am hoping I can show up for my nursing school clinical 3 days after surgery…the doctor seems to think I can. Thanks again.

Comment by John

Well, i had some discharge over the years. But nothing like what you describe consistently. But those polyps keep you inflamed all the time and cause that discharge to form because the mucus festers when it cant drain properly.

Im glad the blog gave you some comfort. With just one side, likely to be even easier for you. Thats good!

Hopefully you’ll see that discharge resolve post surgery. I think its very possible you will.

Good luck!!!

Comment by brettcraig

Well, I have been home for a couple hours from surgery this afternoon for nasal polyps. Overall, I feel really good. A little anxious in pre-op, but some Versed and the next thing I knew I was in post-op. First couple hours there were lousy. Bad headache, some pain, but no nausea/vomiting. So, the polyps were thought to be unilateral, but I learned he did some work on the other side as well. Best of all….no packing or stints!!! I am wearing that strap around my nose with gauze I have to change every couple hours or so. Now at home 5-6 hours post op, I am wide awake, watching a movie and eating pho soup…on the hot side. This really wasn’t that bad. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Comment by John

My husband, a long, too long, suffering Level 4 -“polyp-ian” is having the surgery tomorrow morning. I just got off the phone with the surgical/recovery nurse and she was talking me through the post-op instructions. All very routine until she starting talking about the “risks”. I have to admit I am totally panicking now. She said that I have to check on him every 10 minutes (all night too) for the first 24 hours to make sure he does not “throw a clot” and die!!!!?!?!?!? What the ??!?!?!?!? If there is THAT MUCH RISK in this surgery shouldn’t he be kept at hospital?

Have you ever heard of such a scare?

BTW: thank you so much for your blog and for the creepy nose “IT” pictures . I love being prepared for the worse. 🙂

Comment by Mrs. Dean

I hope it all went well! Lemme know!!!

Comment by brettcraig

It went soooo well. At least, he is still with us, so there’s that. 😉
He was in for about 1Hr. 45 min and the surgeon said it was “some of the worst he had ever seen”–I am thinking they say that a lot. My husband was able to get the “gel” packing so he has no swelling and seems on a road to recovery with no worries of getting packing removed. I have set an alarm to go off every 4 (now 5) hours to give him pain pills. So, he hasn’t experienced the pain that I know is lurking in the background. He has had no drainage yet, so we took off the gauze pads. He began rinsing with saline last night and passed some yucky clots, but nothing like the “IT” that you have prepared me for. He watched the first season of “Arrested Development” and is on to the second….so you could say that he is great. We have four kids…this is a vacation for him–sad, but true. 😉

Comment by Mrs. Dean

Great news. Its possible he wont have terrible pain. Mine wasnt horrible. The gel packing sounds awesome. Well good to hear you’re out of the woods with the surgery! He’ll enjoy breathing clearly soon with any luck!

Comment by brettcraig

So, I’m a little over a week out of surgery for nasal polyp removal. I didn’t sleep well at all the first two nights due to constant drainage. On the third day, the heavy drainage subsided and I slept well that night. As instructed by post op teaching, I started to gently flush my sinuses with that neilmed bottle, distilled water and the mix that comes in the kit on the second day…again, I didn’t get packed or have stints. I was flushing out some small clotting for the first couple days, then started to deliver placentas like you can’t imagine. So, at this point, a week out, I feel great and can only detect the surgery as my sinuses are tender….it feels like blowing air on a scraped knee or something. I have to say again, that the procedure was not that bad and I would not hesitate to do it again if I had to. The more I read, however, it looks like these things have a high probability to recur. Follow up with my MD this week. I’ll post further if he gives me any useful info.

Comment by John

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It has calmed my nerves.

Comment by Claudia

Your welcome. Good luck!!

Comment by brettcraig

Remarkable issues here. I’m very glad to peer your post. Thanks so much and I’m having a look forward to contact
you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

Comment by asthma and children education

Loved the blog. And whilst my post op nasal discharge hasn’t approched your awesome specimen, I am only the fourth day after as I write this – so who knows what’s mutating up there. But wow, the sheer quantum of stuff coming out is quite something! Appreciate knowing it’s not just me. I was starting to wonder if the surgeon had liquified my brain and it was draining out….

But yeah, that pack coming out was horrible. I was awake and it was done about eight hours after the op – yuck.

But to everyone. I CAN BREATH! Get it done. It is not painful, just unpleasant and soooooo worth it.

Graham (from England)

Comment by Graham Hull


Lemme know if you birth any sentient blobs from your nose. Perhaps our blobs could meet, if so.

Glad to hear its going well so far. Stay on top of whatev post-surg regime your doc gives you!

Glad to hear you’re breathing, brother!


Comment by brettcraig

Thank you! This is an amazing article. Very reassuring. Im 21 and a new mom who just had a csection so the thought of another major surgery this soon is scary but this article gave me alot of hope. I schedule my surgery tomorrow to remove what 2 ENTs call “the biggest polyp they’ve even seen” and hopeful that I will finally recover from this constant feeling of fatigue and sickness so I can be the mom my heart wants to be but my body is holding me back from being. Thank you! Congrats on your 2nd baby and God bless.

Comment by Mariah Santiago

Good luck to you! Lemme know how it goes!


Comment by brettcraig

Thank you so much .I’m having this surgery in 5 weeks and reading this page has put my worrys at ease I’ve seen alot of youtube vids and errrrr disgusting haha. .I believe I’ve had pollops for as long as 5 years and have been on sprays and getting nowhere with them . But after badgering the doctor she’s finally agreed to surgery and w hooo. I can’t wait to smell and taste and breath normally as I currently breath like darth vada lol. Jo. leeds England.

Comment by jo

Good luck, Jo!!!

Comment by brettcraig

Thanks so much for this. My husband has been suffering with this condition for over a year.. finally going to ENT again to request surgery!! He can’t breathe at all through his nose and the polyps get so big his nose is widening!! You can see the polyps at the entry of his nostrils they are so big. And he is now developing sleep apnea which is scary to hear at night! He’s frustrated to the point of agitation. I’m hoping all goes well and he can breathe again! Wish us luck!! 🙂

Comment by Peggy

Good luck! Hopefully better breathing is on the way!

Comment by brettcraig

I have surgery in a week and a half. I’m actually having 4 separate things done, one of them being polyp removal. My biggest fear is not the surgery or the recovery, but the fact that they might come back. I guess I’ll have to get used to living in fear everyday that the polyps might be growing again. I’m going to get allergy tested and see if I can get monthly allergy shots. I’m also really good about “daily routines,” so I’ll never miss a sinus rinse. Hopefully these things will help keep my polyps from returning. Well anyway, I digress. Just wanted to thank you for your thorough blog! It was funny and very informative. I’m most thankful for the fact that you keep coming back to add updates. A one-time posting is marginally helpful, but a 2 1/2 years later post… that’s gold. 🙂

Comment by Heathery

had same surgery last week after years of sinus hell,to early to judge the success as yet but a stern warning for those having this procedure,
I had a tolerance to opiods pain meds you must tell the doc and the guy who puts you under that the effects are not as strong for pain relief,-
I was told the pain on waking was not to bad-?rubbish I woke fighting and in agony-clutching my temples searing nasal bone pain like nothing id felt before,-id been hurt and was dam fighting angry-they had to inject 1 full ampoule of morphine into the line as well as oral endone and tramadol to get me under control as the pain had caused my blood pressure to rise very high,-I could not go up to the ward for 1hour until the pain subsided,and this was at a dedicated ent hospital in Australia.
Be aware the doc like a car salesman only get paid when you are back on the ward or when the car is sold,-they sugar coat the spin but once the deed is done your on your own.
Darren Melbourne Australia.

Comment by darren

My sinuses were 95% occluded by polyps. I hadn’t breathed through my nose since….high school?? At 32 had first surgery in 2000, had removed one polyp thicker than a deck of cards and about half a hand palm in width, plus a boatload of smaller ones. However did that big one grow in there!? but through the years and a handful of nasty headcolds, polyps came back with a vengence. Second polyp removal surgery was in 2009. Same level of occlusion, but buggers were now hanging out of my nose. Then stayed relatively clear, healthy, happy until just this August 2013. Just took one 24-hour head cold, and BAM! “We’re baaaa-aaacck!” A scaled down Polyp City 3.0. I’ve gone back to religious saline nasal irrigation with my NeilMed, twice daily. The polyp progression is slowing down, maybe shrinking even a little the last month. My shame, I should have been fervously nose rinsing all these years. But when you’re feeling good, you forget, get lazy… Look, if you’ve had a successful surgery, you’ve got to maintain – because the evil polyp fairy will happily pay you a second, third visit ad naseum…forever. Ugh!

Comment by Darin

for years I was breathing through one nostril and then bam- a polyp had almost popped out and my air flow was completely blocked on both sides. predisone and flonaise helped , then surgery. wow I was on a breathing high. it’s been almost 3 months , doctor says slight polyp return in right turbinate. got on the saline rinse with 3 drops of steroids in saline rinse. reading your post, about polyp return scare me into daily rinsing. get them polyps away.

Comment by larry wheeler

Thank you so much for your fantastic article and all the replies. It’s great to know I’m not the only one that has suffered this much..not that I wish anyone to suffer, but I am having surgery in 4 weeks and after reading everything above I can’t wait. I find it hard to believe that I will breathe again and possibly smell & taste again and say goodbye to infections and a permanently blocked nose and felling run down all the time but your article has given me great hope. I hope you are still well and continue to enjoy breathing every day and I look forward to feeling the same soon.

Comment by Sorcha

Goooood luck! Yes I’m still doing well!!! Glad we can commiserate and let me know how it goes!

Comment by brettcraig

Hi Brett, I’m 48 hours after surgery and have survived. Surgeon told me he removed a large amount of polyps from both sides of my nose. Quite sore today so taking neurofen to give me some relief. A lot of blood discharging and obviously can’t blow my nose yet but no major ‘IT’ creatures appearing yet, but it is early days. My packs are disposable so thankfully don’t have to go back to have them removed. Taking it day by day and know I will feel better each day. Looking forward to a better life.

Comment by Sorcha

I’m happy to find your blog,since I’ve been searching for something like this days now. I’m a 38 year old female suffering from an antralchoanal polyp. I have surgery in two weeks,and you blog answered most of my questions. My ent promised after polyp is removed I’ll feel relief instantly! I cannot wait! It’s 1:00 am where I am my nose is so blocked it’s keeping me up.

My pregnancies were so much easier to deal with including birth! This has got to be the most frustrating thing I’ve ever experienced in my life! I’ve had blood work performed,ct scan,and this Friday I go in for my pre-op consultation discussing what to expect during surgery. Your blog put me at ease. Any tips on how to ease discomfort before surgery?

Comment by jesus5778

I had some polyps removed from my left nostril. It had not gotten to the sinuses yet so the procedure was done in the surgeon’s office. I was scared senseless! The surgeon was MEAN both to me and the assistant. I was awake the whole time and panicked some when she shot the numbing stuff up my nose and it ran down the back of my throat because it was hard to swallow. She put the gauze packing up my nostil and told me if I had to sneeze to do it with my mouth open. About 2 days after the surgery my packing started coming out. Called the advise nurse and didn’t really get any good advise. Called the surgeon’s office the following day and they told me to go ahead and pull it out. It’s been about 18 days since the procedure and I’m still paranoid to blow my nose. Got any suggestions?

Comment by Lore A.

It will heal just fine Im guessing. Hang in there!! Hope you get relief!!

Comment by brettcraig

Great blog. Just had my surgery yesterday. Last night was pretty bad. Couldn’t stop bleeding. Things looking better today. Looking forward to breathing better. Good luck.

Comment by Nelson

Thank you for your updates. Having my 3rd polyp surgery in a few weeks. Have moved to NC from MI and have a new EMT who says he doesn’t pack but uses gel instead. That alone will be a welcomed difference. I miss my sense of smell and taste and prayerfully will get them back soon. Hopefully third times a charm and no more surgeries for me.

Comment by Stephanie Files

I hope it goes great. Let us know how the gel works out!!! Good luck. Update me on the outcome!


Comment by brettcraig

Had my surgery on the 20th of December. No packing was great–couldn’t really feel the gel. Minimal pain made this my best surgery yet. Again thanks for sharing!

Comment by Stephanie Files

Great news! Congrats!

Comment by brettcraig

I just had this surgery two weeks primarily because i am exhausted constantly I believe from inadequate quality of sleep. I am in a constant state of exhaustion and what I’ve read as referred to as brain fog. I have a hard time focusing especially when people are talking to me, I don’t remember well, and my vision is impaired.

I wondered if you had any of these symptoms and if so when did they go away and how long did it take.

Comment by Adam

just imagine if you did not have the polyps removed? lack of sleep -blood pressure goes up , no good air flow to stay alive. breathing through mouth dehydrates you and is exhausting. use nasal strips for a little help to flair nostrils open more. sleep well an breath good.

Comment by larry wheeler

Great post Brett! Could I ask how long until you were 100% at work ? I’ve booked 2 weeks off work and ask for another 2 just desk work as they are in my nose and sinuses- I usually travel for work and do long hours in IT and don’t want to push it too early? Many thx.

Comment by twinklingseahorses

I was back in 2 weeks!

Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

Comment by brettcraig

I go for surgery Jan 21 2013 I have only been suffering for 7 weeks and have never had previous sinus problems or allergies before. Makes me feel a bit bashful for being so depressed and woeful about it given most of the responders have suffered for a year or more! I can’t believe it! Never the less as your article has made me feel better I am still quite nervous! I have one giant polyp in my nose that is blocking everything and just found out today ” millions of other polyps” as the doc says might be a bit of an exaggeration or at least in hoping it is lol in my sinuses. The CT scan liked horrible there was no air getting anywhere. My husband can’t stand that at night I stop breathing and wake up gasping for air so neither of us have slept more than 3 hours a night for the last several weeks. I am looking forward to the surgery but I could do with out this packing business that’s the part making me mist nervous haha I don’t mind being put under I just don’t want to go through the packing removal awake! Lol. Anyways thanks for shaving I hope you manage to stay polyp free!

Merry christmas,

Comment by andie

Goodluck, Andy. Give me an update soon. You’re going to love clear breathing again!

Comment by brettcraig

Hi Brett- great article thank you! Was wondering how long until you are 100% at work? Ive booked 2 weeks off as the polyps are in my nose and sinuses but usually travel for work at do long hours in IT – should I ask for 2 weeks desk work when i return or is working at home for 2 weeks after the 2 weeks off more feasible?
Many thx.

Comment by twinklingseahorses

What a great journal. I go in for Ct endoscopic guided right nasal polypectomy with maxillary and frontal sinus viewing/cleaning. VA doc, I was told he’s done thousands of them. Surgery date is Thursday 19th od Dec. 2013. perhaps I
‘ll have some adventures of my nose kind too.

Comment by karl

Thanks for being honest, I am a big sook, so yes, I’m scared and I’m not sure now if I will do it. The doctor said I’ve got a huge polyp, there’s only a thin line space, I breathe through, it’s horrible as it’s getting worse.

Comment by Nolene

You will love how you feel later. Understand the worry though!

Comment by brettcraig

My story is nearly identical to yours. My ent said they rate sinuses on a scale of 0-22. Mine were a 24 in his opinion (turn it up to 11). What I remember most about post-op is the sore throat and feeling I was going to suffocate from all the packing.
I’m not out on the internet doing sinus surgery searches for fun, I am doing it because I am getting ready to have the surgery for the second after only three years – on New Year’s Eve (happy New Year!) I have had a lot of sinus issues over the past year. I attributed 9 months of them to pregnancy, because congestion is a possible pregnancy “side effect”. The day before Thanksgiving I started with the worst sinus headache ever. On Thanksgiving I was so stuffy and had so much pressure in my face that I laid on the couch while everyone ate dinner. I was unable to smell or taste so might as well lay down to help ease the headache! Well that pressure and stuffiness has yet to go away. And my post nasal drip has me feeling like I ate razor blades. I constantly suck on cough drops and my throat gets so sore while sleeping that I wake to drink sips of water probably 20 times a night. I am exhausted all the time. So I am looking forward to this surgery, as strange as it sounds. Yet scared of post-op at the same time. I had forgotten about the huge blood clots I’d gag on or would plop out of my nose. Thanks for the reminder. Anyway I wish you luck and hope you don’t ever need a second surgery. Keep up on the daily nose cleaning and meds. ..I didn’t do it faithfully and here I am again.

Comment by Heather

if we could just keep that immediate great sinus air flow going forever after surgery and cleaning. every ENT will warn patients that the polyps can come back. they treat the polyp return too. I see you were getting dry mount at night and drinking water – the bad sleep will deteriorate your immune system. even if your doctor puts you back on flonaise and saline rinse daily , stay with that so the polyps will stay away. good luck.

Comment by larry wheeler

Thanks so much for posting your story and follow-ups! I just got CT results and have a 8mmX13mm polyp in my left maxillary and eythmoid (up my nose, around my eye) polyp. Never had general anesthesia, so nervous as hell. But read your story and sick of headaches and sore throat,etc.

THANK YOU and bless you and your fam!


Comment by Connie

Good luck, Connie. Keep me updated.

Comment by brettcraig

This blog is awesome. I got my nasal polyps removed and deviated septum fixed 10 days ago now. I was lucky because they put that magical gel inside my nose, instead of the horror movie packing. The first day was the worse- a lot of pain and discomfort. The three following days I was very congested, couldn’t sleep at all because I could only breathe through my mouth and it got really dry to the point I couldn’t even move my tongue. I had big headaches …the fourth day I had to go to the doctor. She put a sort of mini vacuum cleaner and sucked a lot of who knows what. The thing is 3 minutes after I could breathe through my nose again. It was amazing! Doctor said I could start blowing nose and asked me to wash my nose several times a day with saline solution. Day 6 I went back to work – I am a teacher. It was rough. The congestion came back. I could barely speak. I discovered they put two stitches, I guess after they fixed the septum. I saw a weird white thing stuck in the back of my left nostril that doesn’t let me breathe well. I thought it was some mucous with tissues… I still don’t know what that is- I have my second doctor’s appt in a week- but I am starting yo think it’s a type of synthetic thing they put there for protection and it will slowly dissolve… I don’t know…
As for my smell and taste. Today (day 10) is the first time after surgery I can smell and taste a tiny bit- in a scale of 1 to 10- 1 being the lowest intensity, I would say I have 1 today. These past 9 days I had zero smell nor taste. I hope I will recover my smell and the taste soon.
I am planning to go to see an allergist soon and try to take care of my allergies on a regular basis.

Comment by dfrida

I have suffered a loss of the sense of smell and taste for about eight years. I’ve attempted acupuncture many times as I was told by a General Practitioner that there was no cure in American medicine practices to restore the loss of the sense of smell. To me, that is depressing. I used to cook and really enjoy tasting to tweak the recipe as well as having immense enjoyment at wine tastings. I no longer cook and feel a bit lost at wine tastings. I went yesterday to a recommended ENT doctor who looked into my nose and said,” no wonder, look at all the polyps!” He feels I will smell again and I’m elated. To lose one of your senses is awful. I’m 64 and am excited as a kid with a new toy that I might have a chance through surgery to smell and taste again.

Comment by Bob Nichols Blowing Rock, N.C.

Awesome!!!! I think you will smell again. I certainly did. And you will like how you feel once you get through the recovery! Good luck, Bob.

Comment by brettcraig

Brett, I did it! I had a 3&1/2 hour surgery at 1:30PM YESTERDAY! My wife has taken extremely good care of me since. I had a shower an hour ago and she made me a grilled pimento cheese sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup. I tasted every bite of lunch, something I haven’t been able to do for the last 9 years! I’m elated and also feeling pretty good. I had all of my sinuses opened up and the polyps removed. Dr Charles Ford in Boone told my wife that most of my polyps were in the areas to the outside of my eyes, in relation to my nose. Coughing up a lot of nasty looking globs, but have already stopped using my Whoville looking drip catcher under my nose. Dr. Ford opened the sinuses up with some brand-named balloons and told me that the new technology allows him to use medicine instead of surgery through these ports if the polyps decided to attack me again. Having read many sad stories of recovery which might lead to someone not getting this surgery, I felt I must share my story of success. It is 1:00PM the day after surgery and I’m going to try to not take anymore pain pills, since I feel like a million bucks. (Hope that goes as planned). No packing to remove either!!! This surgery has come a long way evidently, and I recommend it to anyone who wants their life back. Nothing was more depressing to me than being unable to smell or taste anything. I’m confident that when the inflammation and nasty stuff is blown out and my passage is totally cleared, I’ll be smelling and tasting as good as anyone!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Bob Nichols Blowing Rock, N.C.

Wish me luck….mine is one week out. Starting to freak out a bit.

Comment by Aimee

How did it go?

Comment by brettcraig

How did your surgery go?

Comment by Lora Coleman

I loved reading this ’cause I’m about to undergo FESS next week! Well, I am not that nervous ’cause what I experienced the first time was really, really different from FESS.

I don’t know if you’re aware of the other kind of operation for this, it’s called Caldwell-Luc surgery. I had antrochoanal polyps 2 years ago and nasa polyps went back 7months later.

I thought Caldwell-Luc is like an endoscopic procedure as well but HELL NO. They made a small hole on (I guess) my cheekbone (near my nose), and there, they reached my right sinus and cleared it. My face was swollen for about a month and I can’t go outside without wearing a mask. I suggest you watch this on YouTube. I was like crying the day before I got into the hospital because I watched the procedure itself and it was really terrifying.

But after that, it feels like you can smell even the tiniest creature in this world. Sadly, on my part, the curse went back quickly, it’s just that, it’s easier to handle now. 🙂

Comment by Jess A

I’ve heard of that. Thought it was for draining fluid trapped in there.

Well, good luck. Lemme know how it goes!!!!

Comment by brettcraig

Great to hear you are doing well and congratulations on your “new”born:) I’m going in for surgery tomorrow and cannot wait. I am excited to breath again and want this plague over with. Great post, very informative and reassuring to say the least. Thanks for sharing your experience and wish you and your family the best in the furture!

Comment by Stan

Good luck, Stan!!!! I’d love to hear how it goes!!!

Comment by brettcraig

Great info Brett, thanks for your insight and responding to posts and questions. I go under the knife in 4 days for Polyps graded 3 in one nostrel and 4 the other. It’s been so long since I could breath through my nose and how my wife hasn’t carried out her threat of suffocating me I’ll never know. I look forward to having my wife still at my side when I wake up in the morning rather than in the spare room and the possibility of actually smelling again is exciting. I hope these things come true.

For years I have sounded like I have a cold, have a horrible feeling of mucus dripping in my throat and a nose that runs at will with zero warning. All bad stuff for a sales guy.

I really can’t remember what smell is like. There are no assurances it will come back but here’s hoping.

am quite nervy at the thought of surgery into the middle of my head but no pain no gain has to be the motto. Thanks again for your insight, it has helped my understanding of the days and weeks ahead a lot.

Comment by michaelburrdesign

Michael, good luck. Lemme know how it goes. Smell came back for me a bit. But more importantly, misery went away. Update me and glad i could shine a light on the process.

Comment by brettcraig

I’m posting tonight to say that having gone back to my ENT for my first follow up appointment after a Zpac (diminishing dosage of steroids), a series of antibiotics, and twice a day nasal flushing followed by Flonase….he looked into my nose and was elated. He told me that in all his years of practice, i was one of two patients who had such good results from this treatment. He said my polyps on one side were almost totally gone and the other had improved immensely. He looked at me and stated firmly that he did not think I would need surgery and that he was confident that I would smell again. He did a CAT scan IN HIS OFFICE with my wife watching. He showed me where my smell receptors were and said there was still infection blocking their ability to function. He sent me home with a Rx for an every other day, 30 day series of steroids and told me to continue the cleansing and Flonase. He scheduled me for an allergy test to try to find out the root of the problem. I have smelled very briefly soaps, some spice flavors, and other, what I call glimpses of smells and tastes and aftertastes!!! I’m extremely optimistic! My allergy test is early Monday. Really breathing freely through the nose, zero congestion. In Charlotte, the CAT scan was going to be $1200, I think, and the doctor told me he would be looking for a stinking brain tumor which made me feel he was fishing with my bait box and I never returned for that. This Doctor told me it would be around $300 because he read it himself immediately in front of me. So far I’m impressed and optimistic. Stay tuned.

Comment by Bob Nichols Blowing Rock, N.C.

I just stumbled across your blog after being diagnosed with “massive” nasal polyps (my ENT’s words) this week. Like you, I’ve suffered for many years and I’ve tried so many different remedies it’s not funny. I’m going to try a nutritional approach for a few months and if I still need surgery I’ll schedule it in June.

I want to thank you for sharing your story. It’s just such an amazing feeling to find out what’s been plaguing me for so long and then to find people like you who understand exactly what I’ve been through!

I actually cried when I read this bit:-

“To say my life has changed would be an understatement. I forgot what normal was because now that I’m normal I can’t believe I lived with that horrible sinus condition. I can’t believe I put up with that condition for so long.”

I’m on Prednisone right now (just for 7 days) so I’m feeling pretty good, but I imagine I will feel pretty amazing when I fully recover from this horrible condition – whether that be through nutrition or surgery.

Comment by Jade

Jade, hang in there. Think its smart to try all the non-surgical ways – who knows you may stumble across an answer or something that helps. And then, surgery is an awesome option there for you if and when you need it. It’s amazing the technology exists to help us with a problem like this, but thankfully, it does.

Keep me updated!!!


Comment by brettcraig

Thanks for this info. Your blog was by far the best for reassuring me that I would be ok. I was also having nosebleeds and had some veins cauterized. It’s been 2 months since my surgery and I’m still having some bleeding from those same spots. My doc has put me on a second round of antibiotics for this because I may have an infection, but I feel so discouraged! I had been hoping for these bleeds (posterior) to stop. Has anyone else had this problem?
Again, thanks so much for this blog.

Comment by Kate

I did not have that problem, Kate!!! Does not sound fun at all.

Appreciate the kind words about the blog.

And drop me a note to update me on your progress!


Comment by brettcraig

Hello – fantastic blog. My step-son just went through polyp removal a few weeks ago. The main reason for doing so was to possibly regain a lost sense of smell. For those that have gone through the surgery, how long after the surgery did you regain your sense of smell (if at all)? Much thanks for this blog. Cheers, Clive

Comment by Clive

Hi Brett:
Your blog made me smile. I go in tomorrow for my polyp removal. They didn’t know I had polyps because the first ct scan on my sinus showed fluid everywhere. But had the pre op one done and I have “prominent polyps & cysts that are narrowing my osteameatal opening in the maxillary sinus & mucous thickening” so Im sure I will have lots of fun (not).
My ENT said before this ct scan I could have dissolvable packing but after reading this blog he’s prob lying to me lol. Wish me luck 😦

Comment by Sue

Good luck!!! Let me know how it goes!!!

Comment by brettcraig

Hi! I have had nasal polyps for years, with an associated loss of taste/smell (I have ZERO sense of taste/smell). One doctor (I saw 3 specialists) said it was one of the worst cases he’s ever seen. The other two, in addition to the radiologist reports, called the sinus disease “extensive.” Prednisone has helped a bit, but obviously you can’t be on it all the time…or even very often.

So…I’m having surgery tomorrow (!) and I’ve read the account of your operation a few times now. It’s informative and humorous and has been genuinely helpful. I wanted to thank you for taking the time and effort to put it all into writing. It’s a real service to others out there. I’m about the same age as you (43), and from what I can tell my procedure will be very similar to yours, so it’s good to know someone in a similar situation had such good results.

Thanks again…and I’ll leave a note post-op to let you – and everyone else – know how things went and what the results were!

Comment by Jeremy

Let me know!!!! Good luck!!!!!!!!

Comment by brettcraig

Went to the GP this morning found out I got polyps, gave me nasal cream to use for a week and to go back to GP
Let’s see what happens next

Comment by Jim

Hi Brett – Can you provide an update on how you are feeling/doing now?

Comment by Brian

Still good 3 years on. Still very glad I did the surgery, Brian!

Comment by brettcraig

That’s great to hear Brett. Have you had to modify your diet (e.g. limit alcohol, dairy, etc.) since you had your surgery?

Comment by Brian

I have not but i’ve often wondered what the outcome might be. So far I’m too lazy to try that ;). But at some point, a couple of weeks off all of that would be interesting to try.

Comment by brettcraig

Thank you for writing this! I get my CT scan results today, but my ENT is confidant I have polyps. It really has been miserable… You should not get used to your ears popping whenever you swallow, but somehow I did and waited until I was desperate to see a specialist. Why do we do this to ourselves?!

Anyway, your article made me laugh out loud and feel so much more comfortable and confident about my (likely) impending surgery. I’m looking forward to smelling things again! Thank you 🙂

Comment by Lizzie

I’m on day 6 recovery. I was completely blocked by polyps on both sides and said I was in his top 1% worst cases. Surgery took almost 3 hours. Upon waking up, I was able to breath through my nose! It was amazing! I had some anesthesia problems and was sick for the first 2 days, so no pain meds (still mad about that). I think that was worse than my nose problems.

I did not have packing or splints. I was given saline spray, afrin, antibiotic ointment, oral antibiotic, and a nasal rinse (with salt & steriod). I was suppose to start the nasal rinse the next day, but I just couldn’t do it. I was in so much pain, so I started on day 3 after I was able to take meds. Still to this day, I am having problems with that rinse. It stuffs me up and doesn’t come all the way out, so I choke when I move my head, even hours after taking it. I called the Dr and she said that happens to some people and it will get better with time. I’m hoping it does because it ruins my day.

I do get headaches when I sleep, which is normal and Tylenol helps. I’m feeling better and better each day, but continue to be stuffy. I go back to see the doctor in 7 days and am curious what he will say/find.

Your blog helped me so much before my surgery. I’m looking forward to a few weeks from now when I’m back to normal!

Comment by Katy M.

Give it some time. You’re still inflamed from the surgery. And then religiously do everything the doc days. Then update me. Wanna know how you’re doing!

Comment by brettcraig

1 year later and I’m GREAT! I’m still doing my sinus rinse every day, and he told me if I want to keep the polyps away that I need to, probably for the rest of my life. But other than that I haven’t had a sinus infection yet. If I do get sick, it ends up in my bronchioles or a cough. (Not sure if that’s any better! But my nose almost always stay open.)

It took a good 6 months to finally feel ‘normal’. The sinus rinse stopped hurting after about 9 months. He told me it could take up to a year to feel completely healed.

Thanks again for your blog.

Comment by Katy M.

Okay so yesterday I got told I have two big nasal polyps and I’m only 13. I have to get surgery because well everyone does I’ve had them for about three monthes and noticed difficulty breathing about a month into it an five finnally learned what’s wrong. I’m very scared because I was skating when they put the telescope up my nose and that was before I even knew what I had so I have no clue how I can go through with this surgery. I hate missing school so I want to get back quickly and I’m really sad because gym clad is my favorite class and I’ll have to miss it. If there is anyone that can help me calm down can you because idk what to do

Comment by Sydnee

Well. I think first exhaust all possibilities – see if there’s any other means. And see multiple docs, that’s critical – get lots of opinions! Don’t settle for one or even two. Through multiple educated opinions you’ll find consensus – the consensus will give you some confidence/assurance thay whatever you decide, is the right thing. Talk to lots of experts, ok? See multiple ENTs. Its worth it.

Comment by brettcraig

Congrats on being polyp free and what a lovely family you have. I just had the surgery done here in Canada on April 9th. I was very nervous and really appreciated reading your blog before I had it done. I’m happy to say all went well. Worst part for me was the dizziness I suffered (ENT said that was normal considering he’d been in my head and the body needs to recalibrate) and having the stent removed 2 weeks after surgery. Finding and cutting that stitch was borderline inhumane but afterwards I could have skipped out of the ENT’s office! I could breathe and smell for the first time! When I asked the ENT if he could guesstimate how many polyps he removed, he said I was full, and that he’d removed hundreds! I felt great for 2 weeks afterwards but then I caught my daughter’s cold and my sense of smell and taste disappeared and have come back but ever so faintly; which is sooo disappointing! Did your sense of smell ever improve and then deteriorate? Pre-surgery my husband told me I sounded like I had emphysema when I’d sleep because my breathing was so bad. I found it really neat that not even 3 days post surgery my breathing had returned to normal and I felt like a weight had been lifted from my chest! Just goes to show how nasty those polyps are! There are definitely so many perks to having the surgery and overall I feel way better, just wish my sense of smell was stronger 😦
All the best to you, Kathleen

Comment by Kathleen

Hmmm. You know my smell is there but probably not as strong as when I was a kid – it’s hard to know since I can’t really remember what it used to be like. Prior to surgery I hardly could smell so I’m improved from there.

I would give it time. It’s still early. Hopefully you’ll have more sense of smell over time!

Glad you got them out!


Comment by brettcraig

June her in Scotland ,had pollops removed 3 days was feeling pretty low but you have cheered me up and answered lots of questions thankyou very very much June doolan Crawford uk

Comment by June doolan

Great June!

Update me sometime on your progress.

Comment by brettcraig

This was so helpful. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve had allergy problems my whole life, and 2 years ago was diagnosed with asthma. I’ve always just dealt with the sinus pressure and pain, constant runny nose, etc. But almost 2 years ago, I completely lost my sense of smell. That’s when I knew something was wrong. My doctor sent me to an ENT. So far, I’ve gone through four rounds of Prednisone in a little over a year to make those nasty things go away. They go away for a short time and then about a month later, the symptoms are back again. It’s so frustrating. At no point has my doctor mentioned surgery, but I’m going to see her on the 29th, and will basically demand that we do something more aggressive. I just can’t take the stuffiness, headaches, lack of smell and sinus pressure any longer. Your blog definitely gives me hope that I will actually get my life back again. Thank you again!

Comment by Shirley

Great, Shirley!!!! Good luck. Give me an update!

Comment by brettcraig

I’m in the first phase of this, my primary doctor told me that I have nose polyps and referred me to a ENT doc. Which I should have done 10 years ago because that’s when I first noticed a bump coming out my nose. I only went in to my primary because I just started blowing my nose and more than usual blood would show up on the Kleenex and in the past I just accepted that it was probably a piece of my inner sinus even though I couldn’t smell or breath.
After reading your post I’m ready to say cut these out now at my first ENT visit, but they’ll probably scope it out first before anything is done.
Reading on the internet they make this procedure out to be an outpatient procedure, after reading your story I guess not, how soon before you can do normal things again?
Thank you for your inspirational story and I’m looking forward to a new life very soon.

Comment by Kyle

did you ever have the surgery- polypectomy? it’s usually more polyps on one side, but both sides can get blocked with polyps. surgery done -endoscopy. get those polyps out -breath better.

Comment by larry wheeler

Hi i have to had polyps removed on 27 may 2014 ive suffers 10 years with mine ive got to say best thing ive done even though still wearing packing when i cleaned my nose with the syringe my doc gave me this morning it was amazing to feel fresh air.and to breath even though full if dried blood in taking pain killers for pain COs its a horrible burning feeling but im so glad cant wait to finally be able to smell again and i finally got to taste my food because lost my taste buds x

Comment by Sharon

Congrats!!!!! Update me again. So glad you feel great!

Comment by brettcraig

Great blog offering such comfort. Wide awake for past two hours, 6 days post-op. Yes, had a twin of your blob on ride from hospital. Had 100% sinus congestion seen on MRI 8 months prior. Tried everything but what did work to keep pain away and a passage of air to breathe was my second chiropractor experience. Amazing and I will return.

I have gauze still under nose… Not much, but blood pools at base of nostrils and a Q-tip absorbs it. Curad makes a sensitive skin gauze pad that I highly recommend.

Had a 4 hour surgery – deviated part in left nostril, too. I taste blood in my throat. Yuk. Dry mouth rinse and gel have helped.

Any pillow, sleep position recommendations? No packing for me…so glad about that. Heading for first clean out on Monday.

FYI – shock post surgery: dreams! I haven’t had dreams in years. I have had to cut back gardening, have COPD, quit smoking cold turkey 16 years ago.

Comment by Barbara Hobens

I am in Manchester,England awaiting a CT Scan of my sinuses for nasal polyps and chronic sinusitis.Then I will await listing for NHS surgery.I am feeling really miserable at the moment, I can’t smell or taste anything and the condition is affecting my sleep now. Your jottings have made me feel much better.Thank you for your informative and positive comments.Rachel.T

Comment by rachel tully

I can relate to your experience -I had a polypectomy april 22, 2014. did not have the packing you had, the steroid Flonase spray and predisone had reduced the polyps before surgery. 10 days later the ent cleaned out my nose -man what a rush of oxygen! I had the same natural high you had -like breathing 100% for the first time. mine is caused by allergies rhinitis – the ent last month told me my right turbinate has signs of polyp return- she put me on steroid drops mixed in the saline solution and continued use of flonaise. I recommend taking in the ocean air by taking walks or jogs along the shore at the beach. the closer to the ocean the better. good luck with your health.

Comment by larry wheeler

Thanks Brett, for the human story behind FESS. I had bilateral FESS 12 days ago. I am feeling a mixture of increased energy, clear breathing then feeling generally unwell and some nasty yellow/ grey / blood nasal discharge. I worry about FESS not being effective. Any words of encouragement from your experience would be appreciated. John

Comment by behaviourproblems

You make surgery sound okay. I’m a hospital phobic and have a fear of needles + blood. Pain too.
Have been living with nasal polyps for a decade now and my nose has become crooked. I just don’t know how I’d cope with the surgery as I seem to be allergic, or rather, have allergic reactions to anaesthetic and lots of medications.
The polyps were just in my left nostril but lately I’ve been feeling something in my right one too and my sense of taste has lessened.
Reading your experience has given me some hope – to see a doctor about it.
I’m so pleased everything worked out great for you and the polyps have not returned. Long may this last.
Thank you for sharing your story.

Comment by Franka Sensale

your doctor will probably put you on predisone and flonaise steroid nasal spray to reduce the polyps. that way you can get an idea of breathing through your nose a little better. since my initial success of my surgery- nasal swelling has come back a little. it’s still worth doing, but you might have to be on nasal saline rinses and flonaise your whole life to keep the allergy induced polyps away. good luck- keep me posted.

Comment by larry wheeler

My ENT recommends surgery for my sinus and nose polyps, but also 7 days of prednisone and a lifetime of Flonase. I really don’t want to take corticosteroids because of the side effects, and they don’t guarantee a polyp-free future, although I’m fine with daily sinus irrigation. Has anyone experienced corticosteriod side effects?

Comment by ilsa devonshire

Thank you so much for this. I just got home from the hospital this afternoon. My surgery went well, and thanks to your post, I rode into the OR with a little confidence and peace of mind. I hope you’re still polyp-free!

Comment by Autumn

Still doing well. I suspect they may be coming back a little bit but overall, feeling great! Hope your recovery is smooth!!

Comment by brettcraig

hopefully they did not leave you all packed – mouth breathing can be rough. when you go back to get all flushed and cleaned out you’ll get open air flow in your nose. it’s actually a beautiful feeling when its been missing for so long. here’s to breathing great-congrats.

Comment by larry wheeler

Had lost my sense of smell fr 5 years due to polyp . Wonder if i do fess to remove it , will i regain my smell ?

Comment by Zhang

You just might. With the polyps in the current situation you know you’ll never smell so seems like the best way to have a chance.

Comment by brettcraig

My husband is 68, going to have this surgery in next two weeks. Very nervous (age,anesthesia, has terrible neck discs -very concerned about the whole thing). Thank you for your description of events. Any other tips? Food (broth?). Bed rest? Chair rather than bed? We are both rather scared.

Comment by Shawn

He will be fine!!! Normal to be scared but I am very glad I did it! It’ll be fine. And the ability to breathe will be an Awesome reward!

Comment by brettcraig

Hi Brett

Thanks for the info on what I can expect post surgery. I just had my first polypectomy yesterday and am recovering at home. From what I have gathered in my research on nasal polyps, they generally plague chronic asthma sufferers like myself (19) and most likely will return after a while.
Lol I had the same experience with the anaesthesia as you- my surgeon was like any second you’ll be feeling light headed and I can remember foolishly chuckling and saying nothing’s happening and the next moment I was waking up in the recovery room with 2 nurses asking me silly questions like what year it is.
It’s now 12 hours post surgery and my throat is killing- I think my right tonsil is infected :/ My ENT said that my chronic issues with cold symptoms and tonsillitis was because of the polyp so hopefully it will go away soon.
On the nasal front there’s some mucus dripping but there’s some gauze on a tape thing to mop it all up. The surgeon did some packing but its supposed to dissolve in 24-48 hours.
My ENT said my polyp was oddly shaped and had grown considerably between the initial CT scan and the more recent MRI scan so decided to operate sooner. He has sent it off for a biopsy and I have a follow up appointment in 4 weeks.
To all fellow nasal polyp sufferers, trust me just have the op. Firstly it’s not as scary as you think (the anaesthesia takes care of your worries) and secondly your quality of life will improve and you will be on your way to smelling again 🙂

Comment by UKPolypSufferer

Glad you’re through it!!!

Comment by BC

Did you see a change in the shape of your nose at all?

Comment by Mr clips

I did not! Maybe less inflammation (my polyps were causing swelling.

Comment by BC

Last posted June 4.Had surgery on polyps and deviated septum two days ago.Came out of hospital yesterday and felt really bad.Feeling a bit better today.Really weak and shakey.My packs were removed the morning after the surgery with minimal pain relief.It was like giving birth to twins through my nose! I will be reading your story closely as I continue my recovery.Rachel.Manchester,England

Comment by rachel tully

glad you got that packing out. the deviated septum fix is called a septoplasty. removing the polyps allows the doctor to position nasal bones back in proper alignment.
do you have stints? to open up nasal passages more?
in a few weeks you’ll be breathing like a baby.

Comment by larry wheeler

I’m not sure if I’ve got stints Larry,but I can see two white suture-like things just inside each nostril.I was a bit out of it when the surgeon came to see me,that is why I’m not sure.I’ve got a holiday booked in eight weeks to the Canary Islands,do you think I’ll be o.k by then?Looking forward to being near “the ocean” as you suggested.Rachel.T

Comment by rachel tully

you’ll know if you got stints when you go back to doctor for post op nasal cleaning. it sounds like those white things might be stints. the openings in our nasal passage ways allow air flow through our nose. I never realized how small they are , so any blockages like polyps , deviated septum, allergic sinusitis-swelling, -all force us to become mouth breathers. I got envious of seeing other people breathing so easy through their nose, so I’m going to maintain the good air flow I got now. if I ever have to do this surgery again I’m going to request stints -I believe that is to widen the nasal passage ways= more air flow. who cares if I have a wider nose , breathing is more important.
breath some of that nice ocean spray air down there and you’ll have clear air flow -wow I’m heading to the beach.

Comment by larry wheeler

Just had polyps removed and thought you might like to know the packing that they use now (at least in the UK) is desolvable and desolves in about 3/4 days. A bit gross as it desolves but better that going through the removal process.
Didn’t even need to wear the “sling” under my nose this time.
Could breath through my nose straight after surgery although sense of smell is poor. Hopefully this will improve as it heals.

Excellent blog. Very useful to know what to expect before and after.

Comment by Andy

Thanks for the note! Glad it’s easier now!!!! Hope you recover well and quickly!

Comment by brettcraig

Thanks for the posts on this site…I’m about to undergo polyps surgery next month and it has really helped me understand the process. Not quite so nervous now and can’t wait to breathe properly again! : )

Comment by Thom Bateman

I have to under go nasal polyp surgery soon. I went to the ENT because I too have not had a sense of smell in almost 2 years, can barely taste, I stay congested, runny nose, can’t breathe and just irritable. I can see the big polyp in my left nostril. It is so gross! I have anxiety and always have the biggest fear of being put asleep. I also know 2 people who know others who had this surgery and died due to the polyps being sent for testing and being cancerous. Ok so, that doesn’t help my fears at all. I went in to get checked and when the Dr. told me that he had to numb my nose with that spray to use the camera to look in my nose, it freaked me out. It freaked me out because he told me the back of my throat and mouth would also go numb along with my nose. Ummm, who wants to go through that? I have panic also and me not being able to feel my nose, throat and mouth is going to cause me to panic!!! I actually left the Dr’s ofc because I was terrified to get the camera test done 😦 They want me to go and get a cat scan done and when I come back to get the results of the cat scan, he wants me to take a Xanax before coming into the ofc & another 1/2 when getting there to relax me for the testing. Still scared. I am so mad at myself because the testing is just the beginning of this nightmare. What scares me about the surgery is how I will be when I wake up? I am scared that because of all the packing in my nose etc…that I won’t be able to breath when in recovery which also is going to cause me to panic. I am also scared if blood clots can go to my brain after this surgery. Just sooo much! My mind is all over the place but I really need to get this done because I am miserable every single day of my life!! Please someone, anyone give me some insight on the camera testing and the how recovery will be. Thanks in advance.

Lora 🙂

Comment by Lora Coleman

Lora, i know it’s scary. But you’re gonna be okay. And you will be so thankful when those things are outta your nose. Know these docs do it all the time. People are put to sleep literally thousands of times a day safely. You will be too. And it will be over in a blink of an eye.

Do it. You WILL get through it, ok?


Comment by brettcraig

Will I be able to breathe after surgery? Meaning like if they use the padding in my nose, will I not be able to breath and as far the numbing goes to get the test done with the camera..Was that scary and weird feeling?

Comment by Lora Coleman

I was nervous through most of it but i got through it all and you will too. You breathe through your mouth initially but soon they remove all the packing and then you breathe through your nose and you will love it.

Comment by brettcraig

Thanks Brett for your reply. I am at the beginning steps so I need to get er done. I am calling next week to make the cat scan appointment. That’s first. Then I have to go back to get the cat scan results and do that scary test with the camera up my nose 😦

Comment by Lora Coleman

Hi Lora,
Let me tell you I was crying scared tears before they put me under and crying happiest of tears when I woke up because I could already breathe even with the huge patch under my nose. Keep in mind I did not have any packing the doctor swore up and down he does not usually use packing unless in extreme cases where it’s needed. So confirm with yours to see if he or she even uses it. I too had so many polyps that one was about to say hello to the world through my right nostril! I never did have to do the camera testing but he has shoved the camera up my nose not all the way down to my throat or anything but he puts it up a nostril to what feels like my brain haha with no freezing and I admit it is uncomfortable but in no way painful or anything and when he tells me my sinuses are beautiful it’s all worth it! Honestly if my polyps ever returned I would do the surgery again in a heart beat!! Being able to smell, taste, and most of all breathe, and sleep makes it all more than worth it! The next day I was running errands with my husband I felt great! I don’t reccomend it though because I over did it and the next day sucked but in comparison to how I thought I would feel I felt pretty darn good! The worst it feels like is a bad headache other than that I was just a bit drowsy for a couple days. I know it’s nerve racking but you will be fine you will be more than fine you will be great because this is a life changer! Especially if you have already dealt with it for two yrs your going to be wondering why you didn’t get it done sooner!! I’m very excited for you! I wish you all the best


Comment by homemakingfemenist


Thanks for your reply. When you did the camera test, I am sure they used the numbing spray which caused your mouth, throat and nose to go numb. Did that not cause you to panic?

Comment by Lora Coleman

lora, -when I first went to the ENT DOCTOR I was completely blocked – I had one polyp growing out of my right nostril. when he told me I was blocked with polyps on both sides I had a panic attack and my blood pressure dropped so fast they laid me back for 30 minutes and then I took off. the same thing happened when they informed me of the possible negatives- wham panic city again blood pressure crashed downward. I told the doctor to just give me the POSITIVES of the surgery. it’s going to help you breathe! I did it again right before they wheeled me into surgery- they hooked up the iv and oxygen and I said “lets do this”. I woke up -no packing ,just a mustache bandage, they do it all with endoscopes and camera- I am so glad I did this -you are me mirrored with this “panic” thing . the doctors are pros -this aint their first rodeo. you will look back on this in a few weeks and be breathing clear. set the date and show up -the rest is done by the ENT PROS.

Comment by larry wheeler


Thanks so much for your reply. I am at the beginning steps and scared…So terrified that when they numb me to do the camera test and my nose, mouth and throat go numb that I am going to panic but hey at this point, I have no choice. The left nostril has a huge polyp. I can feel it when I breathe and hear it also..Like a rattling noise. YUCK!

Comment by Lora Coleman

Them nasty polyps staying out of your air passages? Curious to hear about your experience. My polyps have stayed away. We don’t realize just how good this surgery is, until it’s done.

Comment by Larry wheeler

Hi lora.just seen your blog know it was some time ago.have you had anything done to your polyps.this is exactly how I feel about the packing and not being able to breath even though you can breath from your just terrifies me.

Comment by bev

Scary but worth it. And not so bad in the end. I’m still doing well 4 years on!

Comment by brettcraig

There was no numbing spray because I don’t think he put the camera up that far. It also wasn’t a formal test he just stuck the camera up a little way to see if he could see anything but I was too blocked anyways so he just used the cat scan results. Now for my checkups he still uses the camera to check my sinuses it does go pretty far but it’s not painful at all it is a strange feeling. If they have to use the numbing spray though I don’t think I would be too nervous I hate needles so if it’s a spray I’m golden haha. But honestly anything they have to do to get you breathing will totally be worth it I can promise that! I will never take breathing through my nose for granted again!

Comment by homemakingfemenist

Yea I have panic so I guess me not being able to feel my nose, mouth and throat would be just too over powering for me but I have no choice. He did for sure say he would need to use the spray before using the nasal endoscope camera. I am going to ask can he just use the cat scan results. lol

Comment by Lora Coleman

Have you had your mouth frozen for dental work before? I can’t imagine it would feel any different than that really but without the big needle lol

Comment by homemakingfemenist

No never needed just have to really suck it up..Terrified but I have to do this. I also am terrified that once in recovery and I wake up not being able to breathe will cause me to panic..

Comment by Lora Coleman

had the nasal polyps removed both sides 6 months ago- using flonaise and some steroid drops in a sinus rinse neti pot.  I cut back the saline rinses to 3 days per week.  seems like a lot of steroids to absorb into the body.  go back to the ENT Monday, -just wondering what others are doing  post surgery to keep polyps from coming back. 

Comment by larry wheeler

If they do use the packing I don’t imagine your breathing will be anymore hindered than what it is now so you probably won’t notice a difference right away.

Comment by homemakingfemenist

anxiety attack or heart attack


Trackback by anxiety attack or heart attack

I wanted to check back in. Tomorrow I will be one week post-op. I’m breathing better than I have in years, and can taste foods again (I had the most amazing wine last night!). But the sinus headaches are enough to drive me crazy. I think it’s just scabbing from the removal of what I believe was the world’s largest nasal polyp, but, man, the pain. And it’s pressing into my right eye. Saturday, I was afraid I was going to have to go to the ER because the pain was just that bad. But things are better and continue to get better. The initial recovery was a bear, but I think if I was in the same position I was in, I’d do it again.

Comment by Shirley D.

You know, small ramification from my surgery was a bit of pain/pressure by my left eye when i just to pop my ears etc. So interesting you had some pain near you’re eye too! Well worth it to me!

Comment by brettcraig

what is the pain in the eye from??

Comment by Lora Coleman

No clue but it only arose after surgery so i assume its something to do with it – scar tissue whatever. But again, small price to pay. Would pay it again!

Comment by brettcraig

How was immediate recovery? Like right after surgery? Is it true that you have to sleep sitting up for a few nights?

Comment by Lora Coleman

Well, here goes.. I’ve,had severe nasal polyps since I was a toddler. I have also been diagnosed with Samters triad. I’ve had my adniods removed, my polyps removed twice, as. well as my middle turbinate removed all at the ages of eight and ten. I’m unaware if due to ignoring my breathing issues while tending to my terminally ill father made it get to the point to is now. Now I’m 24 and after 14 years I’m going to an ent again. I had my first appointment today and he said my nasal passages are so swollen that he can’t see what’s truly going in. So in the next week I should get the date of an appointment for an CT scan to see where to go from here my polyps grew back last time in a year and a half so I’m hoping there is an alternative option. It’s gotten to the point that I’m afraid to sleep because I keep waking up gasping, the surgery cannot come soon enough!

Thanks for listening all!

Comment by Bliss Benson

OMG that is how I am. I can not breathe at all! My nose constantly runs also. I stay congested. Can’t smell at all. Can barely taste! I am just miserable!!

Comment by Lora Coleman

you have to get those polyps out of your nasal passages.  I did it last april and my breathing is so good – I wish I could have this surgery every 5 years.  I do a saline flush and use nasal strips and I’m 61 and ready to fly.

Comment by larry wheeler  Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

Comment by larry wheeler

I can relate! I’ve been suffering for 9 years and had my ENT appt yesterday, found large polyps 😦 surgery here I come! I wanted to cry reading your story, cause I’ve been suffering so long. 10 years ago I had my sinuses drilled out so I know the horror of the PACKING! Yuck! Glad your doing well! 🙂

Comment by Ali

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Comment by Olivia Edrick

Great post man. I had it done around 7 years ago. Was symptom free for almost 3. I was given an “untested” allergy treatment. Which was a series of refrigerated drops. Labeled 1 2 3 4. Use vial 1 for a couple weeks. Move to 2 for a couple of weeks and so on and so forth. Got to 3, had a reaction that wasn’t normal. Gave up. But kept a clear nose for a while! They’re back now.. Making appointment tomorrow for surgery consultation. Hoping to get em cleared out and live a smellful life again! Good luck to you man and congrats on the house and kids!

Comment by Brandon

I think i have a stage 4 nasal polyps too and i was thinking about doin the surgery, i guess what i am asking is. how much did the surgery cost? I’m taking something now called sinuswar13, it’s some pills to shrink nasal polyps and get rid of them permanent, i just started taking them, so i can’t comment on if they’re work yet, if not i will look about the surgery but want to have an idea of the cost to do such surgery. Thank you

Comment by odane

are the pills working?

Comment by Lora Coleman

Well I thought I should comment here as I am an expert on nasal polyp surgery as I have had 6 of them the last in 1996. When I went to another younger ENT surgeon knowing I had polyps back again I asked him about the packing which is the most uncomfortable and requires a night in hospital without any sleep. He said that was old hat now no packing only uses a gel for bleeding. He would also if necessary put two small holes in below my eyebrow near my nose to flush out the ethmoid sinuses.
Come the day for surgery two days ago and I was waiting around like you do for day surgery with all your fashion gear on and they called me in and I had to lay on the bed and the anesthetist put the drip in and I asked about the pre med I had before and they said that is old hat now it doesn’t happen. Anyhow I spoke to surgeon for few minutes then they were waking me up.
I did have small packing in for 2 hours but I could breathe through my nose not like the old way. They pulled out the packing which was an anticlimax felt nothing. The next part was a bit difficult for the nurses as I have low platelets and the bleeding takes a bit to stop but with plenty of ice this was fixed up and I went home with a big bundle of nasal washes and prescription for penicillin a bandage under my nose and two tiny bits of tape on the holes below my eybrows.
Now 48 hrs since surgery I am feeling great only headache for the first 24 hrs which was controlled with pethedene.
The surgeon spoke to me in recovery and said he should have taken a video as the ethmoid sinuses we full of pus, frontal sinus full of mucus and polyps everywhere.
From my experience over many years shop around for a surgeon who is up to date with the latest techniques as that makes a huge difference
BTW I am from Australia.

Comment by Maurie

Hi I have a large unilateral polyp in my left nostril, I went to see consultant yesterday and he said it needs to come out in next few weeks as most people have polyps in both nostrils he assured me it was 99 percent a polyp, I am absolute petrified has anyone else on here suffered with unilateral polyps 😦

Comment by Beverley Bond

A polyp is a polyp. Be glad you’ve only got one on one side! That’s good!!!

Comment by brettcraig

No, a single polyp is more to worry about, when you have allergies which often cause the polyps then you get them in both nostrils, a single polyp has more risk of being cancerous, this I was informed by my ENT when I had my first 8″ polyp removed that had completely filled my right side sinus’, I’m back in next week to have another huge one removed from the same side, be glad you have them in both sides, it’s less of a worry.

Comment by Nic

I’ll admit I wasn’t so scared about the surgery. I’ve gone thru labor. Bring it on, I read a lot about how miserable recovery was and thought this will be fine, heck I’ve taken care of a baby while sick and NO sleep for days… I’m 4 weeks post op, I commend anyone who has had this surgery. My deviated septum was one of the worst my ENT has ever seen and it ended up being a very hard fix for him, I also had an extremely large 2.5″ x2in cyst covering my entire right maxillary sinuses that never showed up on my CT. ( tho I knew I did 😉 ) apparently it was a whole lot of work … Recovery was nothing like child birth, childbirth is painful but ends almost instantly and you have a baby to show for it.. I’m feeling much better within the last week, but came upon ur diary b of the crazy large crud that comes from my nose. I’m feeling so much better knowing it’s Normal, I was some what freaking out but oddly fascinated at the same time, thank you for sharing and easing my mind 🙂

Comment by Megan Wiley

go in and get those polyps out. mine have not come back after 8 months and I do the rinses almost daily. I’m 61 and I feel so good that I’m working out at the gym and lost 15 lbs. good air flow is pure life force. the surgery is relatively minor -back home same day. try and get doctor to leave packing out- that makes recovery better. good luck.

Comment by larry wheeler

Agree if he wants to leave packing in go elsewhere as it is not necessary now with good surgeons and I had the added complication of low platelets and it was fine. Went into the gardening section of the local hardware store and the fertilizer smell nearly knocked me over after 15 yrs with no smell.

Comment by Maurie

I am wondering about cancer..Has anyone been told that a lot of these polyps are cancerous. I have had several people warm me that sometimes they are cancerous and that I need to get them out asap…I have been dealing with this for over 2 yrs now..Can they turn into cancer? Please advise.

Comment by Lora Coleman

I don’t think thats common. Generally they’re benign. By why chance it? And besides they cause all kinds of other issues that only grow worse.

Comment by brettcraig

Other issues like what?

Comment by Lora Coleman

Other issues like you immune system is crap so you catch anything and everything! Jan 21st will be a year for me since surgery and I Havnt been sick once since! And I work with kids!

Comment by homemakingfemenist

As far as I know they are usually most likely benine. But either way the sooner you get them removed the better you feel! It’s almost been a year for me and I have not been sick once since! And I work with children it’s crazy! My immune system is so much stronger since having those pesky things removed not to mention taking a deep breath through your nose is not to be taken forgranted ever again! Trust me or all of us! It’s so worth it to have the surgery! I would do it again in a heart beat if they came back!

Comment by homemakingfemenist


Comment by brettcraig

I am so scared…I am so scared that I am going to feel like I can’t breathe when they wake me causing me to panic but I also have anxiety so I feel that is why I am panicking.

Comment by Lora Coleman

Thanks so much for all of your replies! It is really easing my fears..When did you get your sense of taste and smell back?

Comment by Lora Coleman

I was the exact same way I swear to you and I also suffer from depression and anxiety! But I talked with my specialist who was so kind and he reassured me no packing would be used! He said only in very rare cases does he ever need to. And when I woke up the first thing I did and said was I cried and said I can breathe I can finally breathe! I was so happy! And also still very dopey hahaha. I had a two week recovery period and the worst I had felt was just a headache, maybe 2 or 3 days where it felt like a migrane but other than that I was fine! I even went a wedding the week after. It’s totally worth it I promise you!

Comment by homemakingfemenist

Simply amazing! Is it true that you have to sit up and sleep the first few days and how many days would I be off work? I have a desk job so I don’t do anything strenuous but I don’t want to go to work with anything on my nose of course.

Comment by Lora Coleman

My doctor told me to take 2 weeks off, I wasn’t working at the time though but he said if I was doing anything low impact that one week should be fine. I slept propped up for the first couple nights but not sitting exactly just used an extra pillow there is a lot of drainage happening so I used an old pillow I could throw out after.

Comment by homemakingfemenist

yea that is what I was thinking too that there would be drainage etc..I guess I get scared of maybe choking on it etc..I am just terrified because 2 close people to me knew of someone who had the surgery and the polyps turned out to be cancerous and the 2 people died (supposedly) so of course hearing that scared me to death with me already having a fear of being put to sleep for ANY surgery…No worries about like coughing up blood or anything right?

Comment by Lora Coleman

Within the first couple days I could taste and smell again. Be warned getting your smell back is overwhelming! Some smells were so strong they made me nauseous. But ya within a day or two I noticed I could smell and taste and then it just kept getting better and better the more time went by. I live in ontario and had the surgery at the end of January which last year was the coldest part of the very bad winter we had here. So the one downside was my nose was very tender to the cold for a couple of months after but I mean it’s a small price to pay to have clear breathing back in my life! I had no worries about the drainage but I’m also a side sleeper which I think helps I would try to avoid sleeping on your back. As far as the cancerous thing goes I mean I’m pretty sure it’s a very small uncommon chance that they are but weather they are or aren’t they need to come out and you won’t know if they were until you have the surgery so they can biopsy one anyways. I never heard anything back about mine so I assume no news means they were benign. So what I’m saying is there is no point to put extra stress on yourself over something that is unknown at this point and doesn’t change the fact that they need to come out either way.

Comment by homemakingfemenist

You are absolutely amazing!! I thank you so much for all of your help! You have answered all of my questions and I really appreciate it. I am going to try to have my surgery sometime next month before my birthday in March. I just have to get everything coordinated meaning the cost with insurance, days I have to miss work etc…

Comment by Lora Coleman

Lorna, I’m needle phobic and detest anything to do with hospitals, it scares the crap out of me, petrifies me! But I tell you now I’m about to undergo my second polyp removal (I have them on one side only, which is more of a worry than having them on both), the first I had removed 5 years ago, it was huge, it completely filled my entire right side sinus, it was approx 8″. They packed my nose after surgery with what looked like a huge tampon, it was a little odd feeling when it came out but oh wow that gush of air into my nose was ruddy amazing! I took all the prescribed pain killers home, I didn’t need a single one! Needless to say I’m a little apprehensive about the op but I know there’s nothing to worry about! You’ll be fine, get them out and look forward to a little rest and recovery.

Comment by Nic

i hope you had those polyps removed LAURA – i had mine removed last april 2014. best thing i ever did for myself- i probably had them blocking my air flow for 30 years- i thought my deviated septum was closing off my air flow in one nostril – it was the damn polyps all along. now i am 61 and the air flow through both nostrils is such a natural high.

Comment by larry wheeler

I’m so glad I could help! I found this blog before my surgery as well and found it very helpful. I was so nervous as well like ready to cancel the whole shabang (my husband would not allow that haha) but I am so so so glad I did it and if in the future my polyps come back I have no hesitation about doing it again! I loved my doctor he made me feel so much better even the few seconds before I went under I was crying and he took a couple extra min to reassure me and make me feel better. Good luck with it all and happy breathing! 😀

Comment by homemakingfemenist

I had suffered with nasal polyps for decades, had surgeries, and tried most everything from tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, you name it I tried it. I even pulled them out myself ( I would not recommend it). Well a gal at the health food store recommended serrapeptase, she said it helped with her cysts on her ovaries and explained what it was and how it worked. She said it may take up to a month for it to start working but I was desperate. Well after a month my breathing was better. Went back the doctor and he was not impressed, I have not gone back to him. I can breath regularly now for over six months, my polyps are gone.

Comment by tom

Hmm. Want to look into that.

Comment by brettcraig

I also had nasal polyps for 10+ years and like you, what a relief it was with my first surgery. I’ve since had a second one and so far, I can breathe fine and no colds but I suspect they’re back so I’ll be needing surgery again at some point.

Totally worth it though.

Comment by Steve Ryan

What about another update as of May 2015?

Comment by Gabriel Voican

Ill get on that. I do need to do that.

Comment by brettcraig

As of Dec 2015 still good to go! But will write a detailed update, Gabriel!

Comment by brettcraig

So I have nasal polyps and have for over 2 yrs now. I am not continuing to get re-accuring sinus infections to where I am having to be put on steroids like every 3 months. My last sinus infection from 3 wks ago supposedly led to a viral infection and caused me to get really sick. I was off work for like 7 days. I was having body aches, muscle aches and pain to where I could barely walk or stand and really tired, shaky and weak. Well since then, my body just hasn’t been the same. I have been having severe headaches & eye pain on a daily basis for like 2 wks now and nothing helps take the pain away. This did not start until they said I had a viral infection. Over this past weekend, my left eye started to hurt really bad as well as my head and on Saturday morning I noticed blurred vision in my left eye..I saw an eye Dr yesterday per a referral from my PCP and the eye Dr states that I have too much pressure in my eyes and that she feels the pain I am having in my eyes are associated with the eye muscle and socket. I have to schedule an eye and brain MRI asap for this week per my Dr. Has anyone ever experienced this with nasal polyps? We are hoping and praying it is nothing dealing with my brain especially since I was having all the numbness and tingling in my legs etc…that they were saying was from the virus..They are suggesting I see a neurologist also.Thinking there may be some nerve damage. I’m like nerve damage from a viral infection? Really? My concern now are my eyes! The pain is unbearable and the Eye Dr put me back on a steroid for 5 days to help with the pressure I am assuming so that some of the pain can be relieved…Has anyone ever had polyps mess with your eyes? I am really hoping it is from the polyps to be honest and not my brain..I think it is time I finally grow some and have these things removed.

Comment by Lora Coleman

with polyps in your sinus cavities it puts pressure on blood vessels and nerves , then with a sinus infection added on -get a surgery date as soon as you can book one. our nasal passages are small to begin with and restricting our air intake as we get older is not for me.
heck ,i’d get the “polypectomy endoscopy” just for the air rush which is the best natural high i ever had.

Comment by larry wheeler

I had my sinus surgery 9 days ago and I’m in awe as to how long it has been since I could actually breath through my nose. I’m cleaning my passages 3 times per day with a solution of salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda and tepid water and yesterday I gave birth to my own blood lot lol, gross but pleasing to see 🙂
I am still feeling really tired and a little grouchy and still feel swollen and have a headache most the time starting in between my eyes but wow I can breathe! I am inpatient so the sitting around is a little annoying but I was told 2 weeks rest so im watching many movies and eating a lot lol!
I loved reading this blog before my surgery, it has really helped with me feeling more relaxed about it. Apart from headaches and lack of concentration atm I am so glad I had this done. Hope it’s all up from here 🙂

Comment by Cat

great Cat! I love reading this. Hear ya on sitting around! Congrats on getting over the hurdle! I hope your headaches resolve and good luck!

Comment by brettcraig

Thank you 🙂 I am much better now. its been almost 7 weeks and I can breath and sleep better (a little too much lol I cant get up) It has changed my life so thanks again for giving us confidence xxx

Comment by Cat

Thank you for a great , reassuring blog. I am 78 yrs old and I have my first nasal polyp. Only one side thankfully. Because of my age only surgery is recommended. No steroids. I am scared but I am looking forward to sleeping better and breathing normally. Any suggestions? My surgery is scheduled for Jan.11 at Kaiser Santa Clara. Thanks. Carmen

Comment by Carmen Tagle Kissoczy

Carmen! I wish you the best. Follow the doctors advice to the T! And getting to breathe better! Only one side should make it easier! Good luck!

Comment by brettcraig

Thank you for you hilarious story of your sinus surgery, it was just the laugh I needed before my surgery tomorrow. I am having polyps removed at 3pm and I am looking forward to being able to taste and smell again as I have been progressively unable to for 1.5 years. My last surgery was 2 years ago for turbinate reduction and polyps. This time I will keep taking the pain meds post surgery. Wish me luck.

Comment by Jay

I do wish you luck, Jay! You will be relieved when it’s over!! Thanks for your kind comment!

Comment by brettcraig

I am glad you are doing well and polyps free.
I am having my polyps removed in March 2016.
Happy and nervous at the same time
I am sure it’s going to be better than all the sinus infection I have had and I can’t blow anything out of my nose because of the inflammation.
So tired of the antibiotic and steroids I have been taking for all these colds/ sinus infection.
Plus I have asthma so it makes it even harder to breath at times.
So praying everything goes well and recovery goes fast.

Comment by Sherri

I believe its the only real fix if you’ve got terrible polyps! Good luck!!!!!!

Comment by brettcraig

Thanks for the blog .very informative. I had surgery once over 20 years ago that went great except for having to pull out the packing myself (ouch) ! Hurt like hell . Now they are back looking like surgery again .

Comment by Paul rutherford

[…] me to breathe through my nose. The surgery was a complete success. It was ten times better than the best story I could find about the same surgery […]

Pingback by My Glorious Day | A Simple Man's Journey

Thank you for sharing your experience and yes, even the BEAST from your nose. I too feel like I need some credit for similar beastly experiences ( which is normally not how I roll). But holy shi* I was walking around with at monster causing pressure in my head!!!

After years of allergy treatments and continuous infections I was living in sinus hell! This year I was on antibiotics for 7 weeks w o relief and a continuous fever. As a very active person and 3Rd grade teacher, my quality of life was so diminished I was becoming depressed.

I had 3 procedures scheduled (septum, reduction of turbinates via liposuction and opening 6 blocked sinus ducts – as if that wasn’t enough) on top of that apparently i was full of polyps. To complicate matters I barely had enough space for the intubation hose so I could hardly breath because my throat was so swollen. After a scary night of complete hell I returned in 24 hours to get the packing removed and my doc said to arrange for a 2nd week off work. He said there was “a lot of blood.”

So why am I writing besides to thank you? I need some experienced folks to be honest about how long I can expect the BEAST to continue to drain out of my face. It’s been 2 weeks today and I’m still spewing them out. I’m still on antibiotics w a low grade fever. I’m still exhausted and sleeping like crazy. I just want to wake up and not feel like I got punched in the face. :~

I am ultra sensitive to pain, have only my classroom sink to rinse in (no, my school isn’t up to code) and know I’ll be short tempered w the kids and they don’t deserve that.

Who votes I take one more week off? Will I feel better in another week? My doc said to tell my principal recovery is 1 to 3 weeks and optomistically I’d be back in a week or two. I don’t care how optomistic you are – if you spend the day spewing blood and feeling like you got punched in the nose – no one wins! Empathy, please!!!!

Comment by Teri Mahler

How are you doing now? Any better? Lemme know!

Comment by brettcraig

Thank you for your response! It’s just over 3 weeks and I’m finally starting to feel human again. The surgery itself was a total success – you know how great is it to breathe OXYGEN!!!! Omg – it’s so exciting!!

Still only back at work half time this week, but feel like I’m making the turn. 4 week checkup on Wednesday so wish me luck!

Comment by Teri Mahler

Awesome! Great news! Congrats!!!

Comment by brettcraig

I am about to undergo sinus surgery and I must say I am not nearly as nervous now after reading your blog! Very informative and humorous! I’m going to check out your book too since I enjoyed reading your blog so much! Good luck with the fam! Going from one to two kids is a huge difference (in a “yeah, they are awesome, but I’m busy and tired as shit” way). Thanks for the updates also!

Comment by Rachel

Thank you so much for your comment, Rachel. I’m sorry to get back to you sooner …I didn’t see this. I hope that you’re doing well and feeling better!… and I do think you will enjoy the book it applies to any job where you have to get along with people – that’s pretty much every job right?

Lemme know how you’re doing!!!


Comment by brettcraig

Thank you for the information about your experience. I’m having surgery on May 26, pretty scared. Reading your blog has helped a lot to understand what to expect

I have had nasal polyps for about 6 years, have tried all the meds everyone else has with no real long term help. Hoping this will be the answer.

Comment by Brian Triplett

How you doing?

Comment by brettcraig

First off I love your testimonial. It’s the only thing giving me hope right now. I’m 8 days post op and in the worst sinus pressure pain ever. The clots in that I am frequently producing are the silver dollar and bigger size. Went to ER last night after doc told me to if pain worsened and now have a follow up in a few days to develop a pain management plan. Also had a CT last night which was negative but ER docs did notice bleeding. I had a polyp and my right maxillary was completely blocked. This was all discovered after being sick and outta work for about s month with sinus infection and bronchitis. My primary care provider finally sent me to an ENT because after about a week of being sick I got vertigo which was by far the worst 15 days of my life (constant spinning). Long story shorter, went to ENT who recommend MRI and that’s where the discovery was made. Wife got sick of me being sick and working on the road so she came and packed me up from Louisville and took me home to our new house in Houston. Came here and got the surgery and with all this post op pain I’m really starting to have regrets…I’m a combat vet and have been wounded with serious injuries like shrapnel wounds and a shattered left tib/fib, and this pain I’m still having is getting close to these other horrible times in my life. However, your story gives me hope. I just want these damn jelly fish, canned cranberry , IT, blobs to stop because I feel like my teeth are gonna pop out. Like I can feel them moving and know when to do a rinse to help the little bastards get out…anyways I just wanted to vent to you and others who read this and thank you for the glimpse of hope. My doc does not put you to sleep for any of the fun scoping activities in his office. My one real question to you is, how long did you blow those little fun globs of joy out before it just stopped? 👾👾👾👾

Comment by Mike

Has anyone tried the Polypvac? Seems too good to be true.

Comment by SW

Thank you for posting! I’m on day 3 post surgery

Comment by tarisa45

Hope it goes well!

Comment by brettcraig

Well two years after the major polyp removal No 7 I think I was back in for a Nasal Lavage with Gentamicin to remove thick mucus buildup. He also found polyps in the Ethmoid sinus. Felt good for 5 days then the hay fever came back and back to square one.

Comment by Maurie

New polyp removal surgery. They vacuum them polyps out, get it done, use saline rinses, keep sinuses clean at all times. Exercise, go to beach breathe sea air.

Comment by larry wheeler

Thanks for your really helpful post. Makes the process clearer.

I have not been able to breathe through my nose for a very very very long time. Have been on a NHS waiting list for a huge time and finally have my polyps removal surgery date, 23rd January 17.

My pre opp assessment is today so quite exciting to get this started and look forward to life with a nose that can take in oxygen.

My condition just got worse and worse over the years, most mornings now I wake up with blood in my mouth which I need to spit out. Anyone else had this with polyps?

Comment by relento7

No never even after polyp removal and I have low platelets. I hope you don’t have surgery that has packing if so run as the after effects will be miserable.

Comment by Maurie

My husband is miserable from the surgery and wishes he hadn’t done it. That’s why I started looking for answers and found your blog. This is day 5 and the headache is bad. Meds help. How long will the headaches last?

Comment by Louise

Gosh i’m sorry its been bad! Howz he doing now?!

Comment by brettcraig

Can’t help with that as I was told to use panadol for headache but never needed them in all the polyp removal surgery I have had, 7 or 8 I think I have lost count

Comment by Maurie

Thanks for that I’m actually going in for mine done tomorrow probably had it for years and not realized so feeling a bit nervous at the mo but it will be nice to feel normal again

Comment by Fran Riley

Just read your blog
My polyp surgery is next week
Hope I get similar results
Glenn Aussie Expat

Comment by Glenn Healion

Good luck!!!!!!!

Comment by brettcraig

How’s it go?!!!!!

Comment by brettcraig

Hi Brett. I’m having the works done Feb 28th (full repair of nasal deformity and deviation and removal of some large sinus polyps). I am definitely nervous and I have already put my ENT through a grilling with all my questions. He seems very competent and very nice. But I have never had a four hour surgery before and recovery sounds really scary. But I want to believe this is all worth it. I don’t think I have ever been able to freely and comfortably breathe through my nose without a lot of effort. I’m so bad now that I wake up several times a night to sip water which has really worn me down. I have read enough horror stories on the internet about these not so simple surgeries and I do wonder if I will be one of the ones that get to say it was all worth it. I am glad you have told your story here and are still feeling well. I will check back when it’s all said and done. Please wish me luck.

Comment by Joann

Good luck, Joann!!!! I’ll keep you in my prayers. Please update me!!!

Comment by brettcraig

Thank-you Brett. I am hanging on to your story to remind myself that there is good reason to go through all of this.

I will report back, hopefully sooner, rather than later.

Comment by Joann

Hi Brett. Surgery cancelled because I came down with bronchitis. So demoralizing since I did all my pre op things to get ready. Now the next available date is May 5th! Yeh, he’s a busy surgeon. I am glad that I discovered the bronchitis before going under of course. But having lousy sinuses and prolonged anxiety about this surgery is not easy to take. I can only hope it’s worth the wait.

Comment by Joann

Is the surgeon going to use packing as that type of surgery has moved on now and they use small packs that you can breathe through and stay in for one hour. Much more comfortable as I have had surgery both ways and never again for packing.

Comment by Maurie

Hi Maurie. This is what I really grilled my surgeon on. The packing!! He said that unless I had a very unexpected bleed, he was going to use packing that is dissolvable. I am also reading up on any and all things I can have ready here at home to get through those first days of recovery.

I will report back as soon as I can. Thank-you for also responding.

Comment by Joann

I just endured the packing removal torture routine last week
As you said “never again” for me neither
Worst part of the whole procedure
Made my eyes water and my leg kick up so high (reflex) that I nearly took the doctor out with my foot
Aussie Expat Thailand

Comment by Glenn

I am just now recovering from my 2nd nasal polyp surgery, my last one was 4.5 yrs ago. This one was more critical then the last one, polyps were bigger. I too could not breathe thru my nose, really bad sinus infections, was always totally miserable. Feel so much better, the discomfort you get from the packing is nothing to even worry about, the reward is totally worth it. The only down fall is that the polyps do grow back.

Comment by Darla Schaff

Hope you continue to feel better!

Comment by brettcraig

Hi Brett,
I just finished reading your blog about your sinus issues. I too was exposed to black mold in a house I rented in 2010. I got very ill it started growing in my lungs, esophagus and lungs among lots of other symptoms. I was put on two different types of strong antifungal meds for 2.5 years. Even after treatment my health never recovered and I was left with terrible sinus issues I never had before I was exposed to mold. Although I have never had nasal polyps I suffer from everything else sinus related. My immune system is beyond bad. I see an infectious disease doctor (for the mold exposure) and just recently an immunologist. I have never been offered immune therapy! My doctors said you have to prove throughly to the insurance company through testing for immune therapies. And those tests have to show big zeros across the board for antibodies and for IgG levels. I show quite low levels but no zeros. So I don’t qualify. My immunologist is running some more antibody tests to try to find the smoking gun and get me approved. What caught my attention about your blog is you mentioned getting Gammastan shots. Can I ask you a few questions about that? What type of doctor gives you these shots? What tests did you have to take to get approval to get these shots? Does your insurance cover them or do you pay out of pocket (how much does it cost if so)? How often do you go get the shots? How long did you receive the treatment for? Are you located in the US?
I’m pretty much on my death bed am not being offered any therapy and I see lots of different doctors. I was told by my doctor immune therapy is done by iv in the hospital once a month. I have never heard of a shot. This would be a miracle if I could get more info on this and try and get this.
Thank you!

Comment by KatieEBennett

Hi. I’m sorry about your troubles… As for GammaStan… I believe it’s used in the military to help immunity… I would usually get it every 30 days or so… I don’t know if it was covered I think it was like 70 bucks in the United States… My doctor was Dr. Toffel who worked at Verdugo Hills Hospital who is now retired… I don’t know if it’s commonly used but I know that other doctors do administer it… I stopped taking them about two years ago but I continue to be doing really well

Comment by brettcraig

Bret have you ever heard about the meds that can dissolve polyps now i go to my ent Tuesday as i can feel a polyp on the left side I had nasal surgery 2 years ago for cartilage replacement due to having Bell’s palsy i have been a nurse for 40 years just dreading another nose surgery,I guess only because I have worked in surgery and know how it is done,way back we use to use butter tub lids and the surgeon would cut them to fit scary thought huh,i am just hoping for a prayer to go back to work 4 days after,think it will happen enough for now i don’t want to keep you,please enjoy those children,they are grown and gone before you realize it

Comment by Tammie branigan

Good luck Tammie! I have not tried any meds that dissolve polyps and would seriously question if they’re legit.

Comment by BC

Hi Brett. I just wanted to let everyone know how my septoplasty/ rhinoplasty went. I also was having cysts removed, turbinate reduction and a FESS done to open up all my passages. My procedure was 4 hours long. I was supposed to go in May 5th, but got the call last Thursday that I could go in yesterday. I took the date.

I truly doing well! I can actually feel my breath through my nose, even with the swelling that started last night. I thought I would be in terrible pain since I was having so many things done at once. I would say the hardest part for me was feeling woozie after the anesthetic. I have minimal bleeding right now and I can comfortably clean the crusts out of my nose. I am doing this several times a day. It hurt the first time I did it, but now it feels pretty good. I used saline spray up my nostrils, dab the inner cuts with peroxide (it only gives me a sort of pleasant warm feeling when I do it), and then I swab each cut with the antibiotic cream. I have only needed 3 Percosets since being 24 hours out and doubt I will need much more. I took one to actually help me sleep, which I did last night. I had several pillows propped up under my head and a few under my knees which was pretty darn comfortable.

I’ll list what I think has helped me have a good experience so far;

*I cancelled my surgery back in February since I got bronchitis and decided to get as well as possible before going under.
*I really improved my diet before surgery, eating tons of fruit and drinking water.
*I take several vitamins to boost my immune system and have been doing this for many months before I even saw an ENT.
*I used my Netipot everyday for weeks before my surgery. It only probably worked for one side of my face since the other side was so obstructed.
*I picked a really awesome surgeon who was not only very skilled, but truly kind and compassionate.
*Had the surgery in a top notched hospital where I felt as relaxed and taken care as possible.
*The anesthesiologist gave me a wonderful breathing treatment before surgery to protect my asthmatic lungs. I can honestly say I have no breathing issues now. I didn’t even get a sore throat from being intubated. She also gave me an anti nausea patch before I went in.
*I am resting, but do get up every hour of so to stretch to feel better. I eat a lot of small meals to keep my strength up.
*Water, water, water. I drink tons of it to stay hydrated. I haven’t been dizzy or nauseous since the ride home.
*Along with the medications I was given, I added a supplement to my post surgical list called Bromelain. It’s simply a pineapple extract that is a very good anti inflammatory (I am also on Prednidone). Bromelain is also used to help those of us with asthma. I did check with my surgeon that I could take this immediately after surgery since there were some vitamins and minerals I was’t allowed before surgery and cannot resume until I am 2 weeks out like Fish Oil and Condrointin.
*I do use ice packs on my cheeks and forehead for the swelling. *I swab on Arnicare Gel on my bruised cheeks. It a natural remedy that even my surgeon recommended.

The surgeon had told my husband that when he went in there to see my nasal and sinus passages, he was surprised I could breath at all. So possibly the reason I am not having extreme discomfort 24 hours out may be because I was so obstructed and miserable before hand and was used to feeling this way.

If I can help anyone out there, please feel free to ask. I was really scared of this surgery, but now I am sitting here feeling pretty good and glad I did it. I must say, I do not have any packing up my nose, just splints which I really don’t feel.

Those come out next week.

Comment by Joann

I read your ad for a bro congrats congratulations on getting in those polyps out of your nose it’s a nightmare for me but I’m scared to do the surgery my surgery is May 5, 2017 May 5 do you have any advice for me so I won’t be scared

Comment by Rsy

Honestly it’s totally worth it! I was crying before they put me under and my ent took me out of the room to reassure me again that it was a simple surgery and he promised not to use packing and that everything would be worth it and I would notice the difference when I woke up right away! And I did! I woke up crying to my husband that I could finally breathe there was nothing like it! Even with all the gauze taped under my nose I could freakin breathe it was awesome! I would not hesitate one second to do it again if I had to!

Comment by homemakingfemenist

To appreciate the results of having no packing you would have had to have had surgery with packing. I had it 4 times but when I went to different surgeon it was no packing and day surgery. There is no comparison as with no packing it is a walk in the park.

Comment by Maurie

Hi Maurie. I was fully expecting the worse; full packing and everything since my surgery was going to be so extensive. I can say I was shocked to NOT have this horrific packing when I woke up. I had splints, stents, gel packing, and even a cast, but suffered very little with my recovery. I was shocked that I could actually breathe a little through my nose, starting from the moment I woke up. My surgeon had stents way up in my nasal cavity that were also bathed in cortisone, so I think I experienced a lot less internal swelling than many others here. Pain was minimal. Just discomfort like a bad cold. Once the cast and splits came out, I was on a real high. I immediately could taste and smell too.

It hasn’t even been two months now and I am fully recovered. The last of the dissolvable stitches have fallen out and I am done all my follow up appointments.

I also don’t sneeze anymore, nor get clogged up. I know in my case, it was a life changer.

This surgery has come a long way in just the last few years with the materials they use and the recovery time. It really is a walk in the park compared to any other surgery I have ever had.

Comment by Joann

My small packs come out a hour after surgery and I was moved into a chair then given something to eat and drink and I was on my way home. Bleeding was bit of a problem with me as I have low platelets but a pack of ice got it under control. Had it done about 8 times now so i know what to expect but great to get a surgeon who does not use packing.

Comment by Maurie Frazer

I was so scared going in. I knew my surgery was going to be extensive since I was having a lot done. My surgery was 4 hours long!
But I had a really good surgeon. He really set me up to heal as painlessly as possible by using a gel packing instead of the big bulky stuff they used to commonly use.
Even the splints inside my nose were coated with a steroid to keep the swelling to a minimum.
It’s been the easiest recovery I have ever had in comparison to other unrelated surgeries.
I had the ability to move some air through my nose before the packing and splints ever even came out, so I never experienced any feeling of not being able to breathe. I am an asthmatic, so this was a huge worry of mine.
My cast, stitches, and splints came out a week later and immediately, I could breathe, taste, and smell everything! It was slightly uncomfortable as he snipped my stitches, but it was all pretty painless.
I am three and half weeks out now from my surgery and feeling like my old self. I do have one more follow up appointment to get the rest of the debris out of my nose. Apparently I still have some splints in the upper regions of my nasal cavity with dissolvable stitches. This is only because I had major reconstruction work done, inside and out with my nose, along with the sinus issues.
I do think being on top of the saline rinses and staying hydrated also helped, along with good sleep, diet, and vitamins to aid recovery.
Good luck tomorrow on your surgery and let us know how you make out. You will be just fine!

Comment by Joann

Brett… did your polyps feel like you always had boogers in your nose? lol.. sorry for the description… I was in the car (passenger seat) the other day, and the way the sun was shining.. I just happened to look in the mirror and could see the polyp in my left nostril without having to push to open my nostril.. I took a pic..cuz I feel crazy… not even sure if that’s what it is.. but sounds like it from the descriptions I read.. I saw an ENT when I was young… he said my sinuses didn’t fully develope as a baby, and I have chronic sinusitis.. and I believe I had some polyps there (nothing like it is just this week) but surgery would be temporary… but like you said, us sinus sufferers “get used” to not being able to breath and smell.

Comment by Tanya

It can look like a clear or opaque sack hanging in the nose and you def can sometimes see it just by simply looking up your own nose! They can inflame and fill up with fluid and then shrink thats why you dont always see it. But it does just feel like congestion. A simple xray or mri will show if you have them – and to what extent – for sure!

Comment by BC

I have to thank you not just for blogging this, but for the graphic picture of the moose birth on day 10. I actually was googling specifically for this to see if the monstrosity that came out of my nose was “normal” because I was also a bit freaked out. It happened right after a morning saline sinus flush. So many comments to read through so this may have been answered, but did you find out what it was? I’m guessing it was part of that “dissolvable” packing because it’s so gel-like. Definitely feels a lot clearer up there since it came out! Thank you again for blogging!!

Comment by Jacki

I think it was coagulated blood!!!!

Comment by BC

Thank you! The more I read, I have to agree with you. Talk about gross things coming out of ones body!!! I guess we just have to laugh. Thanks for the reply!

Comment by Jacki

I was so happy to get my nose vacuumed out so to speak after 2 weeks of recovery. There was some nasty stuff that the saline could only loosen, but not remove. I didn’t actually see what he sucked out, but I heard it. I just know the bad odor that I was starting to pick up on was gone once he cleaned me out.

Comment by Joann

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experience on here.I just had polyps removed 5/2/17. My case was bad like everyone else.I waited 15 years until I couldn’t breathe at all before going to emergency room.5 months and many doctors later i went to ent dr Rheddy who saved my life.It feels like I have supercharged nostrils that can smell a mile a way.I can’t wait until 2 weeks to recover fully. The worst part is the weekly removal of scabs that feels like he’s taking part of my brain.I had packing removed in recovery after surgery the same day.Left with gauze under nose and clean replacements in hand.Saline rinses with distilled water and flonase everyday for life and they might not come back that fast.Good luck everybody.

Comment by Tom

Thank you so much for sharing your story and providing so much information. I have been constantly suffering for now 8 months. My life is misery. It is as if I am constantly suffering with a cold, I have an appointment with ENT next month and I am definitely going to opt for the surgery. Life is just too miserable to live with polyps in your nose. Honestly, I am grateful and wish you a good and healthy life.

Comment by Rose

Good luck Rose. Feel free to read my posts here. I suffered for years, but have nothing but gratitude for going through the surgery. I had a lot of work done too and the recovery was not difficult at all. I was very proactive though with using the saline sprays and using the gel they gave me to keep things moist and bacteria free. I am doing very well two months out. I couldn’t ask for a better recovery and result.

Comment by Joann

Thank you for this blog. You inspired me to go back for surgery for the third time after 12 years of trying alternatives. I am now 3 days into post surgery and already noticing a huge improvement in my breathing and general well-being. Techniques have certainly improved since my last surgery. I didn’t even feel nauseated after the anaesthetic this time. So glad I finally plucked up cottage to have the surgery again. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, warts and all so I knew you were the real McCoy. Happy breathing. Regards Pam

Comment by pam9797

Pam, I hope you’re still improving… I’m glad I could be an encouragement to you and I wish you the best!

Comment by BC

I had my sinus surgery back in 2009. The packing removal was a nightmare. My nose bled for 5 months after that, then I got relief and got my taste and smell back. Now 8 years later I had a bad cold or allergic reaction to something and my nose kept running. I did a zpack after week 3 and violin after week 7. Went to an ent and he said my polyps grew back 40% and 50%. Told him I’m not doing surgery he just dismissed me and sent me on my way with some mail order meds that my insurance didn’t approve. Went to a 2nd ent, he was worse, he was sanitary, he didn’t use gloves or wash his hand while scoping me. I took antibiotics after just incase.

I’m going to see a 3rd ent who is further away becaus I can see a huge bloody looking polyp in my left nostril completely blocking it. When I inhale it gets sucked in and when I exhale I can see this gross blood bubble inflate like a balloon. If I try to blow my nose some blood comes out of the left nostril. And it’s causing major sinus facial and head pain.

Can’t believe it’s back after 8 years. Fml!

Comment by RR

Im so sorry. What a nightmare! Ughhhhh

Comment by BC

Get used to it as mine came back after 2 years but I just had a nasal lavage and a few polyps removed, all in day surgery. I have had 8 surgeries so far and getting a good surgeon makes all the difference. I see my surgeon has on the wall with all he does and in red he has “No Packing Used”

Comment by Maurie Frazer

Nice and helpful as I had polyp removal one year ago and now blood clots are coming out. I need to undergo CTSCAN and take it from there. I am scared but encouraged by your experience. Hopefully all will be well thereafter!

Comment by Selina

Im currently laying in bed recovering from my sinus surgery. Your story is exactly what I needed to read right now. I was also stage 4, and Im really hoping to experience this second chance at life.

Comment by Daniel

Your story is great. I just had FESS recently to remove nasal polyps. Mine were suspicious-looking and I thought at first they were cancerous. Turns out they were just rotted polyps. I wrote about my experience here:

Comment by moonwalkerwiz

I’m glad you got to the bottom of it!!! nasty things….

Comment by BC

Hi I have chronic nasal polyps had 3 surgeries high doses of prednisone and even had a new intravenous drug called Xolair which worked for 4 years then had a bad reaction and had to stop. My husband mentioned acupuncture and I thought no way I am to chronic for this to work. So I shrunk the polyps to give the treatment a chance thinking this would not work. 2 months later I can breathe what a difference I still use my nose spray to control my nose but no more preisone 25mg or the need to risk my life with Xolair just to breathe. Hope this will help you out there I know how much you suf

Comment by Ewalina

Hi, I am 32 and I have been suffering with polyp issues for about 8 years now. i have been on the public waiting list for 7 of those years waiting on surgery. I have since got a new job which includes health insurance that waives all previous conditions. so first thing i did was go to the ENT and get checked. i was diagnosed with Samters Triad or AERD within 5mins at this consultation. Its good to know that the asthma i developed and the aspirin allergy are all related to the polyps. I just thought i was slowly dying! i have since had a call from the public hospital asking could i be taken off the list because i have been on it so long. its ridiculous, if i was depending on public healthcare to get the surgery i would have died before getting it done. My surgery is in the morning and i have to say i am quietly s**tting myself. I havent been under general anesthesia before and its a scary thought. Still, reading the article and comments here have been a great help easing my nerves, thank you. The past year has been really bad for me, i have had to stop going to the gym because i cant breathe, i constantly am sick or feel horrible, i havent smelled anything in years (apart from the smell of death, havent been sleeping properly and just have no energy. I feel like a 90 year old. also i have a 6 month old baby and cant even manage a walk around the park. I have been told that my polyps will come back as i have very angry ones, possibly can come back within 6 weeks! Either way i am glad i am getting the surgery no matter how scared i am. from reading what everyone is saying it sounds like i wont know myself after. Heres hoping i can keep the polyps at bay for a good while and i hope the surgery goes well. Thanks again for the article and i look forward to being able to breathe again! Cheers, Rob

Comment by Rob Keogh

How you doing?

Comment by BC

10 months after having a polyp surgically removed, my nose started bleeding and it has scabbed over, but, there were clots for a day. Where do you go to get back your polyp? Actually, I am not sure as what to do.

Comment by Margie Hartman

That was a great read. Very well done. I have had a sinus issue going on 6 months and put it aside, of course being a typical stubborn man. So what I thought would just go away on its own has been confirmed as sinus polyps. Ya, good times 🙂. Healthy otherwise and they literally came otta nowhere. Felt them one day but thought it was just a weird stuffed nose. Had the urge to blow my nose but nothing came out, well of any significance. It then transformed into a roller coaster of diminished sense of smell and taste. On again off again, depending on the day. The tipping point was when a cold arrived on the scene. The existing congestion coupled the cold congestion sent my sinus pressure into madness. Could not breathe worth a s**t. The domino effect too. Your ears nose and throat are all connected. So with a stuffed nose and sinus congestion my ears took on fluid. Nowhere for that to go. The post nasal drip started a never ending cough. Throat was always dry, the constant breathing out of my mouth isn’t helping either tho. 😥. So where do we go from here? The post result can’t possibly be worse than what I’m experiencing right now? Haha. It seems like a no brainer. I’ve forgotten what “normal” is even tho it’s been only 6 months for me. Your story was very positive and encouraging. Thx again

Comment by Sean Keenan

Glad it could help! Hope you get better!!!

Comment by BC

Very well stated. He surgery is easy compared to not breathing well. Then that whoosh of air into clear nasal passages.

Comment by Larry wheeler

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