Sinus surgery, also known as sinus surgery or sinusitis surgery, is a medical procedure performed to treat chronic sinusitis or certain sinus-related conditions that do not respond well to conservative treatments. Chronic sinusitis is a condition where the sinus cavities become inflamed and swollen for an extended period, leading to persistent symptoms and impaired quality of life.
The surgery aims to remove obstructions, improve drainage, and alleviate the inflammation in the sinus cavities, allowing the sinuses to function normally and reducing the frequency and severity of sinus infections.
There are several types of sinus surgery, and the specific procedure recommended will depend on the severity and location of the sinus problems. Some common types of sinus surgery include:
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: This is the most common type of sinus surgery. It involves using a thin, flexible tube with a camera (endoscope) to visualize the sinuses and small surgical instruments to remove tissue or bone that is obstructing the sinus passages. The surgery is minimally invasive and performed through the nostrils, which means no external incisions are required.
Balloon Sinuplasty: This procedure is a variation of endoscopic sinus surgery. A small balloon catheter is inserted into the blocked sinus passageway and inflated to widen the opening and restore proper drainage.
Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS): This approach focuses on restoring the normal function of the sinuses rather than merely removing tissue. It aims to improve ventilation and drainage by removing obstructions and reducing inflammation.
Caldwell-Luc Procedure: This surgery is less common and may be performed when there is a complication such as a severe infection or the presence of certain types of growths in the sinus cavity. It involves creating an incision in the upper jaw to gain access to the sinus.
Sinus surgery is typically considered when other treatments like medications, nasal irrigation, and allergy management have failed to provide sufficient relief. The surgery is generally safe and effective, but like any surgical procedure, it carries some risks, including bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding structures. Recovery time varies depending on the type and extent of surgery but usually ranges from a few days to a couple of weeks.
It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of sinus surgery with an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) specialist to determine whether it is the right option for your specific condition.