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


hicks said...

Hey Mike,

Your post really interested me. Thanks. I wanted to ask a question; hope that's okay.

I was born anosmic. Nobody noticed until my brother- who's four years' yonger than me- could talk. My brother has a nose like a blood-hound, and he was always asking my Mum to name what he could smell. She twigged that I'd never asked those questions and we went to see the doctor.

Until I was 18, they assuemd that it was adenoids, and that all we need do was wait for them to go down. When I was 18, they sent me to see an ENT specialist, who put me on a CAT scan. He told me that my skull is deformed, and that the shelves of bone housing my olfactory centres are crimped off at the mouth. Nothing reaches them.

Back then, he warned me against surgery: there was a high risk of damage to the optic nerve or the frontal lobe, but he said to check back every so often.

I hear technology has improved, but I'm still wary of putting myself in a surgeon's hands: nobody I speak to is anosmic for the same reasons as me, so the op would probably be a first for whoever does the cutting. Without precedent, I'm not convinced that any risk assessments I'm given will be sound.

Could you perhaps explain a little moe about the procedure to remove the polyps? I assume they were using something like a laser, or an optic fibre? What was said to you concerning risk of damage to nearby tissues?

My apologies for the lengthy post. I can understand if you don't have the time to reply.

All the best


martin d. said...

...well, good luck this, Mike. I guess there must be varying degrees of treatment/methods in approaching anosmia...for me, it was cut and dried..After learning what I was looking at, the scan clearly showed the virus had attacked the nerve and it had perished...maybe your scan wasn't as definitive because of the polyps?..I don't know...but at least, I guess you will be able to breathe better?

Mike said...

Hiya Hicks,
Well I'm not a doctor obviously but since you've been anosmic since birth, and for the reason you described, I guess it would seem quite risky to give that a go. On top of that, the type of surgery I've had(twice now) which is the gold standard for sinuses, is referred to as FESS (Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery). It seems unlikely that it could be used for your situation.

As for Martin's comment, yes I'm very aware that many anosmics become that way due to the olfactory nerve dying. My understanding is that it is sometimes caused by virus. My first ENT told me that once it's gone, it's almost like your optic nerve, it cannot come back. In my case, my anosmia is clearly caused by some sort of sinus issue as many have reported on the anosmia boards. The fact that I do have moments of olfaction proves that my nerve is still good but it's frustrating nevertheless.

Good luck to both of you!

Matthew Neer said...

Honestly, sinus infection surgery scares that crap outta me, I would NEVER subject myself any kind of surgery whatsoever. It's much more realistic to get rid of your sinus infections by using an all natural remedy.