Your sinuses may act up for all sorts of reasons, typically due to allergies. For long-term sinusitis sufferers, surgery may be an option to alleviate symptoms.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K. on 25th Feb 2022.
Should I Go For Sinusitis Surgery?
Most sinus infections will go away on their own or with the assistance of medicines if bacteria cause them. Treatments like saline sprays, topical nasal steroids, and over-the-counter medications are often effective.
However, there are certain exceptions where undergoing sinusitis surgery is indicated.
When Is Surgery Needed?
It is conditional on the cause.
Sinusitis is a condition in which the sinuses expand, causing congestion and pain. Your nasal passages may get clogged for a variety of reasons, resulting in this disease. Here are a few examples:
- Bacterial, fungal, or viral infections
- Sinus polyps: little growths on the lining of your sinuses.
- A crooked divide between your nostrils is known as a deviated septum.
Tell your doctor if your medication, nasal rinses, or other treatments aren’t working. They may refer you to an expert.
If your sinusitis is caused by a deviated septum, polyps, or other structural issues, surgery may be needed to relieve your symptoms.
The primary objectives of sinusitis surgery are to alleviate symptoms and reduce the number of infections you acquire. If they keep coming back, there’s a good possibility there’s something wrong with your nasal cavity that can be fixed with surgery.
Sinusitis surgery should also make it easier for you to breathe through your nose. If your sense of smell or taste has been harmed by persistent congestion, surgery may be able to assist.
Types of Sinusitis Surgery
You have many choices if you decide to undergo surgery. Endoscopy and balloon sinuplasty are two of them.
Endoscopy. This is standard practice. Endoscopes are extremely thin and flexible devices that doctors put into your nose. A small camera lens on one of the instruments transmits pictures back to a screen. The doctor will see where your sinuses are clogged and direct the other tools that will gently remove polyps, scar tissue, and other obstructions.
Your recovery will be quicker and simpler because your skin will not be cut. Endoscopy is typically performed using a local anaesthetic, which means the region will be numbed, and you will be awake throughout the procedure. When it’s done, you’ll most likely be allowed to return home.
Balloon sinuplasty. You may be a suitable candidate for this newer kind of surgery if your doctor doesn’t need to remove anything from your sinuses.
A thin tube is inserted into your nose by the doctor. A small balloon is attached to one end of it. They next inflate the balloon after guiding it to the obstructed region within your nose. This helps cleanse the channel, allowing your sinuses to drain more effectively and reducing congestion.
The hazards associated with these treatments are minimal. Tissue damage and infection are the most frequent. More severe issues, such as brain or eye damage, are uncommon.
You should discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor beforehand and any treatment. If you still have concerns, get a second opinion.
After Sinusitis Surgery
You may need nasal packing, depending on the scope of the operation. This is when your doctor inserts gauze-like material in your nasal canal after surgery to absorb blood or other fluids. At your next follow-up visit, they will remove them. There are other non-removable dissolvable packaging materials available.
Following sinusitis surgery, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- For a time, sleep with your head elevated, perhaps with the help of an additional pillow.
- For a week or two, refrain from blowing your nose.
- When you sneeze, try to keep your mouth open. This will relieve some of the pressure in your sinuses.
A few days following the operation, you should start to feel better and have more minor symptoms.
Keep in mind that surgery for sinusitis does not always result in a cure. Instead, consider it as part of your entire treatment strategy. You may still have sinus infections from time to time, for example. Your doctor may also advise you to continue using saline rinses, antibiotics, or other medicines to treat your condition in the days after surgery.
While surgery may not be a permanent solution to your sinus issues, it may aid you in your quest for better breathing.
- American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: “Sinus Information.”
- Mayo Clinic: “Chronis Sinusitis: Symptoms and Causes.”
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.”
- Bon Secours St. Francis Health System: “St. Francis Sinus Surgery.”
- American Rhinologic Society: “Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.”