The most common one is chronic sinusitis (chronic rhinosinusitis). This condition involves the swelling of the nose and sinuses that does not improve sufficiently with medical treatment. It is considered chronic if the inflammation does not go away over time (three months or more).
Other reasons include: recurrent infections that go away with medication but return shortly,sinus infections that spread to the eye, face, or brain, nasal polyps,impaired sense of smell, tumors, leaking brain fluid into the nose, tear duct blockage, etc.
No one wants to have sinus surgery but if you have to it is good to know that over the years sinus surgery has become a lot easier on the patient. In the past external incisions had to be made on the face and in the mouth. When the surgery was complete extensive nasal packing was necessary. The patient could experience significant pain and discomfort and often the recovery period was quite long.
Today’s technology makes it possible for sinus surgery to be performed through the nose. A lighted metal telescope (endoscope) can be placed into the nostril allowing the surgeon to see inside the nose and sinuses. This means there are no incisions to the face or in the mouth. Less packing is required, the pain is mild, and usually the recovery is short.
If you and your doctor have decided medication alone is not going to correct your sinus problems he/she can refer you to a surgeon to see if endoscopic sinus surgery will be helpful. (The procedure can be done at Outpatient Services East). The main goal of this surgery is to improve the drainage pathway of the sinuses. The widening of the natural drainage pathway sinus infections should be lessened. One of the most important benefits of surgery is the ability to deliver medications (sprays, rinses, nebulized drugs) to the lining of the sinuses after they have been opened. Therefore, sinus surgery is done in addition to, and is not a replacement for, proper medical treatment of the sinuses. It is important to note that if you are one of the patients who have diseased mucous membranes or form nasal polyps, no amount of surgery can change this fact. For many patients, surgery may not be a cure for sinusitis but is one of the many critical steps in managing sinus disease.
As with all surgeries there are some risk to sinus surgery. Complications of sinus surgery are rare but include bleeding, damage to the eye or vision, anesthesia complications, and intracranial complications (brain injury, brain fluid leak, infection of the brain). However, it is important to realize that the sinuses are located next to the orbits (eye sockets) and directly beneath the bottom of the brain. Failure to treat chronic rhinosinusitis itself may lead to severe problems, such as infection of the eye or brain. If you are uncomfortable with the risks of sinus surgery, it is important that you discuss this with your surgeon.
The entire staff at Outpatient Services East want you to feel comfortable with your decision to have your surgery at their facility. Give the a call today for any information you need.