Sinus surgery is performed to remove blockages and enlarge the openings that drain the sinuses. The sinuses are the hollow spaces behind the bones of the upper face, which can become blocked and inflamed, causing a buildup of mucus. This procedure can effectively treat conditions such as persistent nasal congestion, recurring sinus infections, polyps and tumors. Patients may turn to surgery to treat chronic sinus conditions or after other treatments including medications and nasal sprays have been unsuccessful in relieving symptoms.
Types of Sinus Surgery
Sinus surgery is a traditional treatment option that clears blocked sinuses using surgical instruments to remove bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening. The approach taken will be determined by several factors, including which sinuses are affected. The goal of sinus surgery is to reduce blockage and improve sinus drainage. A surgeon will enlarge the opening of the sinuses, remove any polyps, and correct any defects that contribute to nasal obstruction. There are several types of sinus surgery that may be performed, depending on the patient's individual situation.
A balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure during which a thin balloon catheter is inserted into the nose. The balloon is gradually inflated to relieve blockages and widen the sinus pathways.
Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, or FESS
FESS is the most commonly performed sinus surgery. The operation is performed through the nose with tiny instruments while a thin tube with a tiny camera helps the surgeon visualize the area on a computer screen.
Image-guided surgery allows surgeons to operate with a more precise visualization of the sinuses by combining endoscopic techniques with innovative electromagnetic imaging.
During the Caldwell-Luc procedure, the maxillary sinus is accessed with an incision through the upper mouth. A small part of the maxillary bone is removed to promote drainage of the maxillary sinuses.
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct a deviated or deformed septum. The septum is the partition between the two nostrils. This corrective surgery opens the nasal passages and proper drainage of the sinuses resumes.
A polypectomy may be performed alone or in conjunction with another type of sinus surgery. It is a surgical procedure to remove polyps in the nose or sinuses which may be obstructing nasal drainage.
After sinus surgery, most patients experience major relief in symptoms such as facial pain and swelling, difficulty breathing and headaches. The frequency and duration of sinus infections are also greatly decreased.