Sinus infections bring pain and misery to millions of Americans. When the condition is chronic or recurs frequently and medications do little to provide relief, then sinus surgery is often recommended. There are a couple of different procedures available, each with the same goal in mind: to remove nasal obstructions and enlarge the sinus openings, enabling drainage of fluids.
Sinus surgery is far more commonplace now than in the past. Advances in medicine have led to procedures that are minimally invasive with little risk for complications.
What Sinus Surgery Options Are Available?
Depending on your condition, insurance, lifestyle and symptoms, your ENT physician may recommend one or more surgical treatment options. Some of the most common procedures we perform in-house or at our outpatient surgery center include:
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS)
The goal of FESS is to open up the sinuses, allowing normal drainage of fluids to occur. Without proper ventilation, mucus builds up in the sinuses, leading to infection.
Who is a candidate for FESS?
To determine if you are a candidate for FESS, your doctor will thoroughly examine your ears, nose and throat, looking for obstructions and other abnormalities such as nasal polyps. If the odds of a successful surgery look promising, an appointment will be scheduled with a surgeon.
How is FESS performed?
FESS is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. An endoscope is inserted in the nose, and the camera is used to visually inspect the sinus openings. The surgeon relies on these images in order to remove excess obstructive tissue.
Image guided surgery
This procedure relies on a 3D mapping system using CT scans and information about the exact position of surgical instruments through the use of infrared signals. This allows the surgeon to accurately guide instruments through complex sinus passages and is especially helpful for those with chronic sinusitis or when previous sinus surgery has changed the usual anatomy of the sinuses.
In this surgical procedure, a balloon catheter is inserted through the nostrils into the sinus passages, and gently inflated. This causes the sinus cavity to expand, allowing for easier drainage. The balloon is then deflated and removed. This operation is minimally invasive, provides immediate relief, and results in a much quicker recovery. Many patients are able to return to work the next day.