Need Relief From Your Nasal Blockage?
While common, nasal blockages can be uncomfortable and disruptive. To enlarge the nasal cavity and provide easier access to topical treatments, many patients turn to functional endoscopic sinus surgery or FESS. First introduced in 1902, FESS utilizes a nasal telescope for a better view of the nose and sinuses. While not initially popular, the rate of procedures has risen in past decades due to improved instrumentation. Thanks to better surgical equipment, imaging, simulation, and navigation, FESS surgery is now a mainstream, outpatient procedure. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, doctors benefit from increased visibility and precision while providing patients with an effective, minimally invasive surgery.
Better visibility, precise results
The external nose consists of several nasal bones, upper lateral cartilages, and lower lateral cartilages. Internally, the septum divides the nose into two nasal cavities. Before advancements in medical technology, doctors often used headlamps to see into a patient’s nasal cavity. Today, surgeons use high-resolution imaging and specific instruments to diagnose and address a variety of problems in the nasal cavity.
Preparation is key
Although technology has improved, the success of a FESS procedure relies on a thorough examination. Some physicians recommend a comprehensive preoperative visit before undergoing surgery. Before the procedure, surgeons will run a variety of tests on patients; such as blood work, electrocardiograms (EKGs), and chest X-rays. In some cases, a fully updated computed tomography (CT) scan is necessary to complete the procedure. If a patient doesn’t have a recent CT scan, a scan will be performed during the preoperative visit.
Minimally invasive relief
Widely considered the gold standard of sinus surgery, countless patients find relief after a FESS procedure. The nasal telescope largely eliminates the need for facial incisions, notably shrinking the recovery timeline. Since FESS focuses on addressing the underlying cause of chronic nasal issues,
many experts suggest FESS for patients suffering from stubborn blockages or resistant chronic rhinosinusitis.
Is FESS right for me?
To ensure the likelihood of a successful FESS procedure, doctors must carefully identify risk factors and potential complications before problems arise. Thanks to the invention of the nasal telescope, doctors can view a patient’s nasal cavities without making incisions. Generally used to treat chronic nasal polyps, congestion, and obstruction, the FESS procedure helps patients breathe better with minimal downtime. However, rhinologists should not only rely on imaging studies, navigation, and instruments. By fully mapping out the nasal anatomy and being mindful of all possible complications, doctors help patients breathe fully.