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Sinus Surgery

Sinus Surgery

 Sinus surgery is the precise removal of sinus obtrusions and sinus tissue, performed to improve its natural drainage channels. The surgical procedure creates a pathway for infected material and drains the diseased sinus cavities or obstructive sinus tissues.

Sinus surgery is most efficiently performed with endoscopic techniques, which allow a better and more accurate visualization without the need for an external incision. Endoscopic sinus surgery causes less swelling, bleeding and discomfort.

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery treats a series of sinus problems including:

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  • Nasal polyps
  • Bacterial problems
  • Fungal infections
  • Recurrent acute and chronic sinus problems

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery – Procedure

Sinus surgery involves the re-routing of existing pathways and the removal of diseased tissue.

The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure usually under general anesthesia.

In traditional sinus surgery, the surgeon makes an incision into the sinus from the mouth or from the skin of the face, depending on the location of the infected sinus. On the other hand, endoscopic surgery does not require external incisions.

The surgeon introduces an illuminated telescope of very small diameter (4mm for adults and 2.7 mm for pediatric uses) inside the nasal cavities. The telescope is provided with hi-fi cameras, which send moving images to a screen, and a set of articulating instruments. The main objectives of the procedure are to identify and restore the drainage and ventilation of the nose and sinus cavities. The surgeon removes blocking substances and even small amounts of tissue and bone if necessary. Mild pain, discomfort and bleeding are to be expected in the first 2 weeks post-surgery.

Some other procedures that can be performed trough endoscopic sinus surgery may help to diagnose and guide postoperative therapy:

  • Culturing – to incubate abnormal sinus secretions to check bacteria and fungi
  • Biopsy – to examine bits of tissue under the microscope

The use of the same endoscopic technology has been extended to access pituitary tumors and approach certain brain or skull tumors.

Frontal Sinus Surgery

One of the most common types of acute sinus infections is acute frontal sinusitis, associated with intracranial infections. Causes for acute frontal sinusitis are the obstruction of the ethmoid air cells and the hindrance of the sinuses’ mucociliary function, caused by nasal polyps, tumors, traumas, swelling, acute infection or septal deviation.

The surgical procedure performed to treat this condition specifically is called acute frontal sinus surgery. 

Sinus Balloon Surgery

Also known as balloon sinuplasty, sinus balloon surgery is an ear, nose and throat endoscopic and catheter-based system for chronic sinusitis. As indicated in its name, sinus balloon surgery uses a balloon over a catheter to dilate sinus passageways. Once the balloon is inflated, the sinus opening dilates and widens the walls, with the purpose of restoring normal drainage.

Sinus Surgery – Complications

Among the common complications for sinus surgery we find:

  • Failure to resolve infection
  • Recurrence of the original problem
  • Bleeding
  • Chronic nasal drainage
  • Damage to the eyes
  • Damage to the base of the skull
  • Pain
  • Reduction or loss of the sense of taste or smell
  • Need for additional surgery

To avoid complications, administering the right post-operative care is essential in sinus surgery.

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Post-Operative Care

A critical point of all procedures is post-operative care: the most common cause of sinus surgery failure is poor follow-up, and it is mainly up to the patient to take the responsibility for after-care.

Post-operative care involves:

  • Using gauze to absorb blood drainage inside the nose
  • Taking medication (antibiotics)
  • Using nasal spray to reduce inflammation
  • Using saltwater washes to keep the nasal passages moist
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, bending and blowing the nose
  • Use humidifier in the bedroom
  • Weekly medical revision in the first month after surgery

How Much Does a Sinus Surgery Cost?

Without insurance, on a private basis sinus surgery cost can go up to $4,000. This average figure for sinus surgery cost includes the physician fee, the anesthetics and the endoscopic sinus surgery operating room expenses