Endoscopic sinus surgery is performed to open the sinuses and restore function by removing blockages, diseased tissue, polyps, or growth in order to promote proper sinus ventilation. An endoscope allows the surgeon to clearly see and operate inside the sinuses. Endoscopic sinus surgery can treat chronic sinusitis (recurrent inflammation and infection of the lining of the sinuses) or frequent sinus headaches.
Traditional surgery can leave scars and can disrupt the delicate sinus tissues. Using a small lighted tube called an endoscope, our ENT surgeons can correct sinus problems from the inside, eliminating the need for incisions.
Endoscopic sinus surgery causes little tissue damage, swelling, bleeding, or discomfort. The surgery is performed within the nasal chambers and sinuses and therefore does not cause any visible scarring. Generally, this type of surgery is very effective. It is usually done as an outpatient procedure with general anesthesia. The extent of the sinus problems will determine what specific sinuses will be addressed.
Sinusitis is a common health problem that can affect as many as 35 million people a year. The sinuses are empty, air-filled cavities within the face that open into the nasal cavities. Normally, the sinuses work together with the nose to filter, warm, and moisten the air we breathe for its journey to the lungs, and to drain away the unwanted fluid or germs that collect. Anything that blocks the flow of mucous through the narrow sinus openings can allow germs to collect and cause infection. Infection of the sinuses can be of an acute or chronic nature. Acute sinusitis often comes on suddenly, usually along with a cold, awhile chronic sinus disease develops when there is a continued blockage or obstruction of one or more areas of the sinuses. The key to treating acute or chronic sinusitis is to open the blocked sinuses through medication, allergy control, and when necessary, a procedural intervention. The sinuses generally become obstructed by swollen tissue (allergies or viral infections), polyps, or even a deviated septum.
- Viral Illness/Allergies - When someone has an upper respiratory infection or has an allergic reaction, the mucous membrane becomes swollen. The swelling can then block off the sinus and because of the inflammation and pressure difference between the sinus and nasal cavity, patients will often experience pain. Mucous continues to be produced inside the sinus, but it cannot ventilate or drain, which often results in bacterial growth.
- Nasal Polyps - Nasal polyps are usually the result of allergies and inflammation. These waterlogged formations usually block off one or more of the sinuses.
- Deviated Septum - Deviated Septum can cause direct physical obstruction of the sinus drainage/ventilation.
Chronic vs Acute Sinusitis
Infection that follows a cold or an allergic reaction commonly associated with discolored secretion, bad odor or taste, and pressure/pain in the face and forehead. This usually clears on its own and/or with medical treatment.
Sinusitis that occurs when the blockage persists for an extended period, often improves somewhat with medications, but either never totally clears up or the symptoms recur in frequent intervals. A CT scan will show chronic sinus inflammation, which remains despite proper medical treatment.