Sinusitis can be a truly miserable experience for those who suffer from it chronically. The reality is that many people do— and most people will experience even mild sinusitis at some point in their life. There are a handful of treatment options for less-severe sinusitis, including antibiotics, a balloon sinuplasty, and simply letting it run its course, but some patients may require some drastic steps. Endoscopic sinus surgery is an effective option for some patients, but it can be difficult to determine whether you might have reached the point where you might benefit. Here’s a guide to consider while you look at your treatment options.
What is Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?
Although it might sound scary, this procedure has come a long way from its initial techniques. It uses a small, handheld rod (with a camera that allows the Tuscaloosa ENT specialist to view a live feed) and small, precise cutting tools that enter through the nose to access the sinus passageways and remove any affected tissue from the entrances. This technique widens the sinus passageways and allows for drainage of the infected fluids inside the sinuses, and it requires no outside incisions. It can be performed with local or general anesthesia, meaning minimal recovery time and limited discomfort.
What are the benefits?
Sinus surgery can be one important step in chronic sinusitis treatment because it offers many benefits for severe cases. By removing the infected tissue and widening the passages for drainage, it can drastically improve the state of the sinuses, reducing the chance for the infection to reoccur. Most chronic sinusitis reoccurs in the long-term because of the inability of the infected substances to drain out of the sinus, meaning they are trapped within and continue to infect the area. Patients with a natural sinus structure that makes them prone to sinusitis can greatly benefit from this surgery, as well as patients with nasal polyps. Widening the sinus passages can also allow for easier reach of rinses or spray medications within the sinuses for an effective, multi-faceted treatment approach.
What other treatments should I consider before surgery?
Sinus surgery generally only occurs at the recommendation of our ENT specialists and after a non-surgical treatment plan has been tried. This can include antibiotic medications, saline rinses, and decongestant sprays for acute sinusitis, but more severe sinusitis might require tests (including scans or cultures) to create a better, more effective treatment plan. A balloon sinuplasty is a highly-effective, non-surgical method to dilate the sinus passageways and provide immediate relief as well as drainage of the infected mucus. Our ENT specialists generally recommend this treatment as an important step before you consider surgery, as a balloon sinuplasty can be preferable to a surgical procedure.
Our ENT specialists can guide you through your personalized sinusitis treatment, providing state-of-the-art diagnosis technologies and techniques. You don’t need to live with miserable sinusitis conditions, and we can help you achieve the relief you need. Contact our office to schedule your sinusitis consultation, during which we can look at your symptoms and provide the first steps for your treatment.