Sinus surgery is a medical procedure used to treat diseases and other conditions of the nasal sinuses. The sinuses are a series of chambers located in the skull, which inhaled air must pass through before entering the lungs. These chambers are lined with soft tissue that can be susceptible to infection and a variety of other issues. Sinus surgery is designed to correct this problem either by removing obstructions or rerouting air passages so that there is proper ventilation and drainage.
Improper airflow into the sinuses can affect how effectively bacteria are trapped and cleansed. When there is an obstruction, bacteria cannot be drained properly, leading to a buildup that can cause pain, headaches, and, in very rare cases, even affect the brain. Obstruction can be a result of a congenital deformity in the structure of the sinuses, or the development of polyps, which are benign soft tissue growths that can affect airflow. Sinus surgery is designed to correct these problems primarily by removing polyps and other obstructive tissues.
Sinus surgery is generally performed at an out-patient center; patients should arrange for a person to pick them up and bring them home the day of operation. A nasal irrigation regimen should be started as soon as possible to prevent infection and reduce swelling. Medications with aspirin should be avoided to reduce healing times and allow blood to clot properly. Patients are advised to avoid breathing or sneezing through the nose for the first few days after surgery. An ice pack can be used to reduce swelling or discomfort. It may take several weeks for the sinuses to recover. Contact your doctor if you experience any new symptoms or excessive bleeding.
Surgery is conducted through the nostrils using small camera-guided surgical tools. Procedures can last up to two hours depending on the type and extent of surgery being performed. It is important to note that sinus surgery is not a fool-proof procedure. In some cases, sinus surgery is unable to correct the original problem that prompted the surgery, such as frequent infection, problems with breathing and drainage, or headaches. If this occurs, you may need to see additional specialists to identify the cause of your problem.
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