Sinus infections bring pain and misery to millions of Americans. When the condition is chronic or recurs frequently and medications do little to provide relief, then sinus surgery can be an option. There are different procedures available, each with the same goal in mind: to remove nasal obstructions and enlarge the sinus openings, enabling drainage of fluids. Sinus surgery is more commonplace now than in the past, as advances in medicine and surgical technology have led to procedures that are minimally invasive with little risk for complications. Difficult experiences you might have heard about from friends and family are really a thing of the past. In the majority of times, no nasal or sinus packing is even necessary.
Sinus surgery is far more commonplace now than in the past. Advances in medicine have led to procedures that are minimally invasive with little risk for complications.
Sinus Surgery Procedures
Depending on the patient, there are several surgical sinus procedures available. These include:
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). This operation, developed in the 1950s, involves use of a nasal endoscope to open the natural pathways to the sinuses. A thin tube with a camera attached is inserted into the nose, and any obstructive tissue is removed. In most cases, the procedure is completed entirely through the nostrils, so no external scars are left behind. Swelling is limited, and pain or discomfort is mild.
Balloon sinuplasty. In this procedure, a balloon catheter is inserted through the nostrils into the sinus passages, and gently inflated. This causes the sinus cavity to expand, allowing for easier drainage. The balloon is then deflated and removed. This operation is minimally invasive, provides immediate relief, and results in a much quicker recovery. Many patients are able to return to work the next day. For more information on balloon sinuplasty, click here.
Image guided surgery. In some cases, a sinus surgeon may choose to use this tool during the sinus procedure—whether FESS or balloon sinuplasty. It relies on infrared signals and information from your sinus CT scan. It acts as a mapping system that provides the surgeon information about the exact position of surgical instruments during surgery, allowing the surgeon to accurately guide instruments through complex sinus anatomy, especially when previous sinus surgery has changed the usual anatomic landmarks of the sinuses or when other factors such as polyps are obstructing the normal view.
For your comfort and safety, our physicians have made this technology available for in-office procedures, when warranted. We utilize the most advanced system on the market—ACCLARENT TruDi™ Navigation System. Click here to see what makes this system surgeon preferred.
Each surgical procedure requires a different recovery period. Patients who undergo FESS or image guided surgery can expect to recover after three to five days. They should refrain from strenuous physical activity during this period and may need to change dressings and take pain medication. Balloon sinuplasty involves no cutting of tissue or bone, and patients generally recover more quickly.
Your doctor can advise which sinus surgery is best for you based upon your symptoms and unique condition.
Call DeFatta ENT & Allergy at (715) 828-2368 for more information or to schedule an appointment.