Sinusitis is one of the most common chronic health problems in the U.S., afflicting an average of 37 million Americans each year. Patients suffer headaches, congestion, fatigue and other symptoms. This condition significantly impacts an individual's physical, functional, and emotional quality of life.
Sinusitis is typically treated first with medication. However, at least 20% of patients do not respond adequately to medications. Sinus surgery is often the next step towards finding relief.
Before performing any sinus surgery, the physician may perform an in-office endoscopy (use of a camera to examine your sinuses) and a CAT scan (if you have not previously had one) to help diagnose and examine the sinuses.
Types of Sinus Surgery
Ear, nose and throat physicians are board certified specialists and are experts in the treatment of chronic sinus conditions. Before performing any sinus surgery, the doctor will order a CAT scan (if you haven't had one previously) to confirm the diagnosis and to examine the sinuses.
Sinus surgery can be performed in various ways, all relatively non-invasive and usually performed on an out-patient basis. Surgeries include:
- Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. Using an endoscope (a very thin fiber optic tube), the doctor examines the openings into the sinuses, then removes any abnormal and obstructive tissues.
- Balloon Sinuplasty.™ During a typical balloon assisted sinus surgery, a minimally invasive sinus balloon catheter is used to position a balloon into the blocked sinus passageway. The balloon is then inflated to gently restructure/microfracture and reopen the sinus passageway, facilitating normal sinus drainage and function.
- Image-guided Surgery. Combines use of a CT scan with endoscopic surgery for greater visual precision. Most helpful in surgeries involving severe infection, previous sinus surgery, or where a patient's sinus anatomy is very unusual.
Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty™ may include:
- Minimally invasive procedure
- Relief from chronic sinusitis
- Shorter recovery time
- Sinus headaches
What to Expect
Most sinus surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, involve a local or general anesthetic, and are completed in 1-2 hours. Swelling following surgery depend upon how extensive the operation, but is typically minimal, especially with the endoscopic procedures.