Thursday, May 20, 2010

Youtube video of a normal polypectomy

This is NOT a video of my procedure. This is what a normal polyp looks like and I imagine it's how my first surgery went back in 2006. What's most amazing to me still is that there is virtually no pain and no blood from this surgery.

In my next post I'll describe my situation from my surgery I just had performed that was not quite this simple.

FESS Sinus surgery for polyps - Post Op Nightmare

The moment I awoke from anesthesia I had a feeling something was wrong. After my first surgery which lasted about 45 minutes, my nose and sinuses felt a bit of stinging but there was no pain. However, I was breathing clearly without any problem.

This was different. As I woke up to the nurses calling my name, I immediately realized that I couldn't breathe through my nose. At all.

"Hmmm....that's odd", I remember thinking. Why was I so incredibly congested when I should be breathing freely?? And then it hit me. In my still foggy, hazy state of mind I realized (with no small amount of horror) that the doctor had to pack my sinuses. Something I never had done, even after my first reconstructive surgery to repair my septum and certainly not after my first polypectomy.

AAACCKKK!!!! Aaah well, what are you going to do huh?

My wife walked in, tears in her eyes because she knew how much I was praying this wouldn't happen and said, "Honey, I'm so sorry. He had to pack your sinuses". She was very upset for me.

Why in God's name did her have to do it?
Well, for starters, even though we knew my entire sinus cavity....all of them...were filled with polyps, crud and what not, what nobody knew was how difficult it would be for my doctor to remove them. So difficult that my 45 - 60 minute procedure took over an hour and half. And rendered the doctors surgical tool unusable in the process.

Next up!
Polyps made of "leather", teflon nasal tampons and my 3 day follow up

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nasal Polyp Surgery - The big day

On Monday, May 3rd I was scheduled to have my surgery. Unlike the first surgery which was performed at my (previous) doctors in office surgery center, this was to be performed at an outside surgery center that my current ENT uses. I was told to arrive at 11:15 am and no food or liquid 12 hours prior. Based on past experiences, I knew that if I was to be there at 11:15, I would probably not be in surgery until 1:00.

We arrived a bit early and I filled out the minimal paperwork that was required and then we pretty much settled in for the wait. It was not until almost 1:00 that they finally called my name and brought me into the pre-op area where I was treated very kindly by the nurses. Our expectation was that the polypectomy would last appoximately 45 minutes and the nurse confirmed this with my wife who was not allowed to go with me into pre-op. Once inside, I got into the surgical gown, laid down on the bed and proceeded to answer numerous questions by the nurses. "When did you last eat or drink, what allergies to meds if any, what previous surgeries...." The usual stuff.

Within a short time they me hooked up to a needle and the anesthesiologist came in to ask more questions. She then had me on a drip to relax definitely worked quickly.

Shortly after that, they told me we were ready to go and off I went into the surgery room.

It's funny but I was not nervous at all. Having had the surgery previously, I knew what to expect, i.e. a brief procedure, an easy wake up from anesthesia and no pain or blood from my nose but just a raw kind of sensation.

We got into the surgery room and unlike my first polypectomy where my doctor was already in there, the only people in the room were the anesthesiologist and a couple nurses. By this time, the drip they had me on had me feeling pretty good. I couldn't have been in there for more than 2 minutes when the anesthesiologist looked at me and said, "Okay Mike..are we ready?" To which I replied, "Yep". And she then said, "Okay, here we go"

And it was an instantaneous lights out to nap land for me.

Next up: Post Op

Friday, May 07, 2010

Second surgery for nasal polyps

Anyone who has followed my minimal posts here has known that since October 2005 I've suffered from anosmia and nasal polyps. My first surgery for nasal polyps was in January of 2006. I'd say it was successful in regards to removing the polyps but as to returning my sense of smell, not so much.

I was told at the time to follow a strict regimen of nasal rinsing, allergy shots and corticosteroid sprays in the hope that the nasal polyps would not return and that my sense of smell would.

We can fast forward from 2006 until late 2008. During that time my sense of smell would come and go but I'd say that I had virtually no sense of smell or taste other than an occasional moment. I kept up with the nasonex and/or flonase sprays and nasal irrigation and also kept going for my allergy shots.

In November of 2008 my wife and I moved to a different area in southern California and I began noticing serious sinus issues. Extreme stuffiness, constant discharge, worsening of what few asthma symptoms I'd had and an overall feeling that my sinus situation was getting worse.

Being that I am loathe to see a doctor, it took some time before I had my allergist take a look at me. Sometime in late 2009 I scheduled an appt and he saw a large polyp in my left nostril plus what he described as a sinus infection and got me back on Flonase which I'd pretty much stopped using at that point.

For the next few months, my condition worsened to the point that I was spending most nights in a sleepless state due to the congestion in my nose. Breathing was almost impossible and life since early 2010 has been somewhat of a depressing state.

As I've blogged about in the past, the fact that I enjoy more than my share of cocktails and cigars did not help matters. It's obvious that any alcohol is a vasodilator for me and only worsens congestion.

Matters only got worse so about 8 weeks ago I finally went to a new ENT in my new area. He did some observations and scheduled a CT scan which revealed massive polyp growths in both nasal passages and all sinus cavities filled with both polyps and infection. He was pretty astounded that I'd been living this way for the length of time I had been.

Needless to say, surgery was scheduled! May 3rd 2010 was the big day! 5 days prior I started a 50mg/day dose of prednisone which of course had a nice effect but considering the condition of my sinuses, very little olfaction returned.

By Sunday night, May 2nd I was so tired of feeling the way I had been for so long that even though I was nervous, I was ready for surgery.

As a side note, my current ENT had informed me that while he uses FESS and rarely needs to pack after surgery, it is always a possibility. Since I'd been down this road before and my first surgery was FESS and required no packing, I was looking forward to a quick recovery.