Corticosteroids have been used as drug treatment for some time. Lewis Sarett of Merck & Co. was the first to synthesize cortisone, using a complicated 36-step process that started with deoxycholic acid, which was extracted from ox bile .  The low efficiency of converting deoxycholic acid into cortisone led to a cost of US $200 per gram. Russell Marker , at Syntex , discovered a much cheaper and more convenient starting material, diosgenin from wild Mexican yams . His conversion of diosgenin into progesterone by a four-step process now known as Marker degradation was an important step in mass production of all steroidal hormones, including cortisone and chemicals used in hormonal contraception .  In 1952, . Peterson and . Murray of Upjohn developed a process that used Rhizopus mold to oxidize progesterone into a compound that was readily converted to cortisone.  The ability to cheaply synthesize large quantities of cortisone from the diosgenin in yams resulted in a rapid drop in price to US $6 per gram, falling to $ per gram by 1980. Percy Julian's research also aided progress in the field.  The exact nature of cortisone's anti-inflammatory action remained a mystery for years after, however, until the leukocyte adhesion cascade and the role of phospholipase A2 in the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes was fully understood in the early 1980s.
Endoscopic sinus surgery with removal of polyps is often very effective for most people with rapid symptom relief. Endoscopic sinus surgery is minimally-invasive and is done entirely through the nostril with the help of a camera. Surgery should be considered for those with complete nasal obstruction, uncontrolled runny nose, nasal deformity caused by polyps or continued symptoms despite medical management.  Surgery serves to remove the polyps as well as the surrounding inflamed mucosa, open obstructed nasal passages, and clear the sinuses. This not only removes the obstruction caused by the polyps themselves, but allows medications such as saline irrigations and topical steroids to become more effective.  Surgery lasts approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour and can be done under general or local anesthesia.