Sinus surgery has come a long way in the past decade! What used to involve immense amounts of pain and nasal packing can now be performed as an outpatient and same day surgery, with minimal to no pain.
Endoscopic sinus surgery is performed by inserting a small telescope into the nose, which makes it less invasive. Better results can be accomplished without external incisions, and minimal to no pain, and no nasal packing involved. This leads to a much shortened and easier recovery period.
It is important to note before any surgery is considered, other non-invasive treatments should be tried first.
Try Medications First
Most people have a total of eight sinus cavities that drain into the nose. If the channels that connect the sinuses to the nose are blocked by inflammation, polyps or infection you will likely experience a stopped up nose. You might possibly experience a moderate to severe headache. There are many over the counter medications that can help reduce inflammation and even more prescription medications to treat infection and reduce inflammation. These treatments may include:
- Saline nasal sprays or irrigation to sooth inflamed sinus tissue
- Antibiotics for acute sinusitis (a sinus infection)
- Over the counter decongestants or nasal decongestant sprays (these should not be used by some people with high blood pressure or other cardiac issues, consult your doctor if you are not sure if these are safe for you)
- In some cases steroid nasal sprays or oral steroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery should only be considered after a reasonable course of non-invasive medication has been tried and failed. Working closely with your ear, nose and throat doctor will give you the necessary information to determine if and when conservative treatment has been unsuccessful and surgery should be considered.
How Effective is Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?
For most patients it greatly improves their condition. If the problem was directly related to a structural defect in the channels that allow the sinuses to drain, endoscopic sinus surgery can often offer a complete cure. Often the problem is a diseased condition of the mucus membranes of the sinus cavities. In this case surgery may not be able to give a complete cure, but it can improve the opening in the sinus channels enough to allow medication to reach the inflamed tissues and decrease the incidence of infection, pain and pressure.
While this procedure is not the answer for every person suffering with sinus pain, it can offer relief for those that do not respond to conservative treatment. If you are considering this surgery you can be confident that the sinus surgery of the past has been improved upon greatly. You can look forward to a less painful and quicker healing procedure that will reduce the frequency and severity of painful sinus symptoms.