When it comes to fighting chronic sinus infections, there are many treatment options to explore, including Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. Although surgery is usually the last resort, in some severe cases, it might become the best option.
So if you turn to surgery, what should you expect?
First, let’s take a look at how the technology works.
Endoscopic sinus surgery is the most common type of procedure for blocked sinuses. Using a tube called an endoscope — sometimes attached to a special camera — a surgeon will take a detailed look at the sinus area, addressing blockages from bone fragments, polyps or otherwise and removing any diseased tissue.
Endoscopic surgery is generally done in the operating room as an outpatient.
We use image guidance for surgery–like a GPS for the sinuses–allowing the surgeon to view (in real time) where they are on your CT scan, in addition to seeing through the endoscope. This allows for sub-millimeter precision in our surgeries.
Often balloons can be used to open sinuses, making any sinus procedure even less invasive.
The goals of the endoscopic procedure include:
- Reducing the frequency and intensity of sinus infections
- Improving nasal airflow
- Enhancing the sense of smell, if sinus infections have previously hampered it
Endoscopic sinus surgery usually takes 30 to 90 minutes, and it can be done under general or local anesthesia. Recovery times vary from patient to patient, but typically, some bleeding and minor discomfort might last about two weeks.
Your recovery from endoscopic surgery could include steps like:
- Taking prescribed antibiotics
- Using saltwater washes or nasal sprays
- Keeping a humidifier nearby
- Avoiding strain (through excessive nose blowing, heavy exercise and so on)
- Having several follow-ups with your doc to check progress
- For desk jobs, most people can return to work 3 or 4 days after their procedure.
- No packing is used for our minimally invasive sinus surgeries- lessening further the post operative discomfort.
For about 90 percent of people, this type of surgery tends to improve symptoms — but it’s not a guaranteed fix for eliminating all sinus issues entirely. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks to talk through with your surgeon — who can also advise you about specific post-surgery complications to watch out for.
If you’re looking for relief from sinusitis, give us a call. Whether surgery or another treatment option is right for you, we’d be happy to help you find a personalized plan.