Is Sinusitis Becoming A Pain?
Feeling pressure around the face? Have a stuffy and runny nose? Millions of Americans have similar sinus problems. Sinusitis is an infection, inflammation or blockage of the sinuses. Sinusitis causes breathing issues, pain and even a loss of smell. Chronic sinusitis sometimes requires surgery.
Dissecting sinus surgery
To ease the problems linked to sinusitis, minimally invasive surgery can be a viable option. Sinus surgery involves a surgeon using tools to remove blockages in the sinus. Next, the sinus drains freely, giving the patient relief. The surgery is an outpatient procedure with a high success rate. Sinus surgery procedures range from open to minimally invasive.
Time to FESS up
A functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is an effective sinus-relieving procedure. First, the surgeon inserts an endoscope through the nostrils. A clear picture of the sinus via the endoscope’s camera helps determine the next step. The surgeon can then use tools attached to the endoscope to remove blockages. FESS surgeries are quick, relatively painless outpatient procedures.
Balloon sinuplasty is a new sinus surgery procedure, growing in popularity recently. The technique is less invasive than FESS and requires less recovery time. However, balloon sinuplasty treats lesser sinus issues. A tiny balloon attached to the end of an endoscope inflates to push tissue back into the sinus walls. The sinus opens up and drains freely.
The vintage open surgery
Open surgery is less commonly used but still an option for sinus patients. The surgery is invasive and requires entry through cuts on the face or mouth. Open surgery occurs in cases of large blockages, or to repair the nasal passage. The recovery time is longer and more painful than the less invasive counterparts.
Qualifying for sinus surgery
Over 30 million Americans experience a degree of sinusitis yearly. Yet, only 200,000 sinus surgeries occur. Otolaryngologists use sinus surgery in special circumstances. Healthcare providers attempt nonsurgical options before suggesting surgery. In fact, sinus issues often heal naturally. The cases an ENT will recommend surgery for include:
The different treatments for sinusitis include nasal irrigation and antibiotics. Sometimes antibiotics or steroids bring no relief. If treatments are unresponsive for weeks or months, surgery is the next step.
A nasal polyp is an air filled sacs in the nose. Polyps gather like strings of pearls, blocking nasal passageways. Polyps cause restricted breathing, runny noses, pain and infections if not removed with surgery.
A suspected tumor
In rare cases, tumors form in the sinus cavities, causing sinus cancer. Yet, the tumors happen because of environment, smoking or genetics. A suspected tumor after a CT scan qualifies for immediate surgery.
Is sinus surgery the right move?
Sinus surgery provides long-term relief to patients. However, most non-surgical methods also treat sinusitis. Patients will only go under the knife for the right reasons. Patients with chronic sinus problems can discuss treatment options with a healthcare provider.