A sinus surgeon can quickly determine whether or not your condition will benefit from endoscopic sinus surgery.
Thanks to advanced technology such as high-definition digital imaging, digital video guidance, and thin, sensitive, flexible endoscopes, today’s sinus surgery is nothing like it was even a decade ago. In most cases, it’s performed entirely through the nose and doesn’t involve incisions on the face or in the mouth. Endoscopic sinus surgery usually involves minimal packing of the nose (the packing is temporary), only mild pain afterward, and a short recovery. Some procedures can be completed right in the doctor’s office.
Depending on your particular case, an endoscopic sinus procedure is done under either local or general anesthesia. Under local anesthesia, the nasal and sinus cavities are numbed so there is no pain, but depending on the type of anesthesia required, you remain awake or lightly sedated. General anesthesia means you’re asleep for the procedure.
The goal of the surgery is to enlarge the narrowed or inflamed sinus openings so that the sinuses can drain properly into the nose.
In addition to the sinuses, other nasal structures such as the septum or turbinates (filters inside your nose that filter and moisten the air) may require surgery as well. This is performed during the same endoscopic procedure.
Other technology such as a tiny balloon can be used to widen the sinus opening and allow it to drain properly.
What is an endoscope?
A small lighted telescope that the surgeon places into the nostril, the nasal endoscope allows the surgeon to see right into your nose and sinuses.
Who is a candidate for sinus endoscopic surgery?
When your sinuses are inflamed for long periods of time, and you don’t respond to more conservative medical treatment, you have chronic rhinosinusitis, also called chronic sinusitis. The inflammation can be caused by a number of things including a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, nasal polyps (non-cancerous swelling of the nasal/sinus lining), allergies, irritants, and other factors. If you have chronic rhinosinusitis, you may be a candidate for endoscopic surgery.
Recurrent sinus infections, those that go away with medication, but return quickly and frequently also may make you a candidate for surgery.
Other conditions that can make sinus surgery necessary are a sinus infection that has spread to the eye, face, or brain, nasal polyps, an impaired sense of smell, tumors(cancerous and non-cancerous, brain fluid leaking into the nose, and blocked tear ducts.