Ancient Technique, Modern Science: Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Posted in: Sinus News  |  January 6, 2012 
Ancient Technique, Modern Science: Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Americans, on average, take 8 sick days a year. As a kid, sick days were a time to wear comfy pajamas, eat ice cream in the middle of the day and take in some daytime TV, but as an adult sick days become a hassle. While you are away from your job, work builds up, meetings are missed and deadlines are pushed back. Too many sick days can have a serious impact on your career. But what happens when you have a chronic condition that keeps you out of the office for long stretches of time?

The average adult has three to four upper respiratory infections a year; 1% of these infections are complicated by sinusitis, accounting for 16 million visits to the doctor each year.  For those who suffer from chronic sinusitis, the best option for relief may be endoscopic sinus surgery. This is a fairly common procedure in which a surgeon will use a thin camera rod with a light at the end called an endoscope to visualize and illuminate the nasal passages. Small, specialized instruments are then used to remove blockages. All of the incisions are made high up inside the nose, with no external incisions at all. In most cases, patients can go home the same day.

Endoscopic sinus surgery was first introduced in the United States over 20 years ago, and has undergone significant advancements in that time. The concept of a transnasal approach, however, is hardly new.  The ancient Egyptians removed brain tissue prior to mummification through the nasal passages. Advancements in technology have allowed modern surgeons to use this ancient technique to develop a procedure that has many advantages over traditional sinus surgery, such as:

  • Faster recovery period
  • No visible scars
  • Is less painful
  • Requires less packing following surgery
  • Has a higher success rate

The decision to have surgery is not an easy one, but with the guidance of a doctor it can be life changing. Give us a call to talk about your options.