This is a subspecialty that deals with nasal and sinus problems. These include common problems such as allergies, sinusitis, and nasal obstruction. Less common problems include tumors of the anterior skull base and of the sinuses.
Having this surgery may be the only means to get a badly blocked or infected sinus to drain properly. However, surgery does not always cure sinusitis. Some people may require a second surgery. The surgery is usually successful when combined with medicines such as antibiotics and home treatments to prevent the sinusitis from recurring.
What is the aim of the surgery?
The goal of having this surgery is to improve the sinuses drainage usually by draining the mucus and removing the blockage. This may involve removing:
Infected, damaged or swollen tissue
Bone, to create a bigger opening for drainage of mucus from the sinuses
Polyps (growths) inside the sinuses or nose
A foreign object that is blocking a nasal or sinus passage.
Indications for sinus surgery
If you have chronic sinusitis.
If you have followed ‘maximum medical treatment' for 4-6 weeks. This treatment includes. A steroid nasal sprays, antibiotics and other prescribed medications
If after 4-6 weeks of treatment a CT scan shows the presence of nasal polyps
Types of sinus surgery
Endoscopic surgery: The doctor uses an endoscope (a thin lighted tool) to remove growths or small amounts of bone or material blocking the sinus openings. The endoscope is inserted through the nose to help the doctor see and remove any obstructions. Endoscopic techniques allow for better and more precise visualizations. They also eliminate the need for external incisions. As a result, there is less, bleeding, swelling and discomfort and recovery from the surgery is fast.
Sinus surgery: This is done when there is an occurrence of complications from sinusitis. These include infection f the facial bones, development of pus in a sinus or brain abscess. The doctor makes an incision from inside the mouth or through the facial skin. Sinus surgery involves removing diseased tissue as well as rerouting the existing sinus pathways.
When to call the doctor
Fever greater than 38.6C (101.5F) that persists
Sharp pain or a headache that is unresponsive to medications