Explaining Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide

Endoscopic sinus surgery has proven to be an effective way of treating chronic sinus conditions and restoring patients' quality of life.

Sinusitis is a common medical issue that affects millions of people worldwide. When medication and lifestyle modifications fail to alleviate symptoms, a procedure called endoscopic sinus surgery may be the recommended treatment.

Here, I explain what endoscopic sinus surgery is, why it’s done, what to expect, and how it could potentially improve your quality of life.

What Is Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure primarily used to treat chronic sinusitis and other conditions that obstruct the sinuses.

The main goals of the surgery are to clear the sinus pathways, improve sinus drainage, and alleviate symptoms such as facial pain, headaches, and nasal congestion.

Why Is Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Performed?

Chronic sinusitis is the primary indication for endoscopic sinus surgery. This condition is characterized by inflammation of the sinuses that lasts for 12 weeks or longer, despite attempts at treatment. Symptoms may include nasal congestion, thick yellow or green mucus discharge, reduced sense of smell, facial pain, and a persistent cough.

Other conditions that may necessitate the procedure include nasal polyps, sinus tumors, recurrent acute sinusitis, nasal and sinus obstructions, and complications from a sinus infection, among others.

What Does the Procedure Involve?

Endoscopic sinus surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, although it can also be done under local anesthesia. Your ENT surgeon will insert an endoscope—a thin tube with a light and a camera on the end—into your nostrils to visualize the sinus passages.

Small surgical instruments are then inserted alongside the endoscope to remove any polyps or other obstructions. In some cases, the surgeon may need to make a small incision in the face or mouth to reach the sinuses.

Because endoscopic sinus surgery is minimally invasive, it does not involve cutting the skin, as traditional surgery does. This generally results in less bleeding, shorter recovery time, and a lower risk of complications.

What Can Patients Expect After Surgery?

Following surgery, most patients experience significant relief from symptoms.

Improved breathing, fewer infections, and a better quality of life are among the benefits reported.

Some common post-operative instructions include rest, nasal irrigation with saline solution, and avoiding strenuous activities for a few weeks. Mild discomfort, fatigue, nasal stuffiness, and bloody nasal discharge can be expected in the initial days after surgery.

The recovery time varies from patient to patient but generally ranges from a few days to a couple of weeks. Full healing of the sinuses might take a few months.

Endoscopic sinus surgery has a high success rate. However, as with any surgical procedure, it is not without risks. Potential complications, though rare, include bleeding, infection, vision changes, and leakage of the fluid that surrounds the brain.

Schedule an ENT consultation today.

Understanding the Procedure Is Key

As with any medical procedure, understanding endoscopic sinus surgery and knowing what to expect can help you make an informed decision and prepare for the process. This surgery has proven to be an effective way of treating chronic sinus conditions and restoring patients’ quality of life.

ENTCET—Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants of East Tennessee—has been trusted by tens of thousands of patients as East Tennessee’s premier otolaryngology practice for over 45 years. If you’re experiencing persistent sinus problems, our team of experienced ENT specialists can provide a thorough evaluation, an accurate diagnosis, and a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan.

Take control of your health. Reach out to us today through our contact page or by calling us at (865) 693-6065, because timely intervention is essential to preventing complications and improving your overall well-being.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Nicholas J. Panella, M.D.

Growing up in Knoxville, Nicholas went to Webb High School. While no day is the same, as he is constantly managing different projects as a general ENT, his practice specializes in head and neck cancer. The job can be difficult; however, he loves to work alongside a wonderful group of doctors and providers who all want to work together to help ensure patients have the best possible outcome. Everyone is so supportive of each other and loves to bring new techniques and surgical options to the East TN area. Outside of work, he dedicates his time to his wife and two young kids. They enjoy spending time on the lake, fishing, mountain biking, and snowboarding. He is also involved with his local church and the Emerald Youth Foundation

    Schedule Your Appointment