When minimally-invasive treatments aren’t effective in removing blockages in the sinuses, then endoscopic sinus surgery might be recommended to open the sinuses. Here is an overview of this treatment to help you learn more about the benefits and potential risks of sinus surgery.
Why Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?
Chronic blockages in the sinus cavities can cause sinusitis, with ongoing symptoms such as swollen mucus membranes, pain, drainage issues, impaired breathing, and frequent infections. When a patient has chronic sinusitis, the sinuses can’t drain properly, which causes the nasal secretions to be trapped in the sinus areas. As a result, these tissues can become chronically infected.
This surgery can be used to remove the mucous membranes and delicate bones that are blocking the drainage pathways. If Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is recommended, then the goals include:
- Reducing the severity of sinus infections
- Reducing the number of sinus infections
- Improving overall symptoms (pain, discomfort, pressure, etc.)
- Opening the passages to improve airflow
- Improving the person’s sense of smell
Each patient is unique, which is why every surgical plan is customized to the individual needs. Your ENT will discuss the treatment options, as well as potential risks of the treatments.
What to Expect During the Surgery?
Your ENT will discuss the procedure in detail so you know what to expect during the sinus surgery. Usually, the patient is put under general anesthesia. The surgeon uses a thin camera rod, known as an endoscope, to see into the sinus tissues. This tool has a light at the end that allows both magnification and a view into the sinuses.
This surgery does not require the skin to be cut. The sinuses can be accessed through the nostrils. So, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, which means you will be able to go home on the same day as the surgery.
When the internal problems are identified, then specialized instruments can be used to remove the tissue causing the blockages. Common causes of sinus blockages include deviated septum. nasal polyps, natural blockages, and scar tissue. Sometimes the septum needs to be straightened, or the size of the turbinates needs to be reduced.
Potential Complications and Risks of Sinus Surgery
This treatment is often used, and many patients have positive results after the surgery. But, as with any surgical procedure, potential risks or complications might occur:
- Failure to resolve the infection
- Nasal discharge
- Reduction of smell
- Damage to surrounding tissues
- Secondary infection
The most effective way to minimize the risk of these complications is to choose a reputable ENT. Also, don’t overlook the importance of following the post-operative instructions. Self-care in recovery can be just as important as the surgical procedure.
It is important to notify your ENT right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Fever over 101.5 Fahrenheit
- The fever persists, even with the use of fever-reducing medication (such as Tylenol)
- Headache or sharp pains
- Increased swelling of the eyes and nose
Recovery from Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Recovery length depends on the person. For example, age and overall health are factors that can influence how quickly the patient heals after surgery. Most people can return to normal daily activities within 3 to 5 days. During this recovery time, it is important to avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting and exercise.
Follow-up care is essential for optimal recovery. Visit with the doctor as needed, and make sure you are abiding by all recommendations for nasal packing and nasal irrigation as needed. Our medical staff will provide specific instructions for you to follow, based on the type of procedure that is completed.
Personalized Treatment Plan
At Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat, we offer a caring, skilled team to assist in designing the optimal treatment plan for your needs. Visiting an ENT is an important step in finding relief from chronic symptoms you are experiencing.
If you need ENT services in the Collin County or Dallas area, then you are invited to reach out to schedule a consultation. We are here to help with everything from common symptoms to chronic conditions. Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat offers multiple locations in the area for your convenience. Schedule an exam at an ENT office in Frisco or Plano, TX: (972) 596-4005