Sinus problems can develop because of a blockage of the sinus cavities. The symptoms that are typically encountered are:
Facial pressure or pain,
Recurrent sinus infections,
Postnasal drip and drainage,
Decreased sense of smell,
Decreased breathing through the nose.
Sinus problems can be quite chronic in nature, can affect the quality of life, and can lead to a decreased sense of energy. The sinus cavities are hollow chambers inside of the head and face that can become repeatedly infected and need to be surgically opened to reduce the symptoms. Millions of people are plagued by blocked sinus cavities that do not respond well to medication. Endoscopic sinus surgery opens the internal sinuses. It also involves removing polyps on the inside of the sinuses as well. All of the surgery is done from the inside of the nose using telescopes. The recovery is less painful, and there is no visible bruising or scarring on the outside portion of the nose. "Endoscopic" sinus surgery is a telescope that allows viewing of the inside of the patient's sinuses.
There are four sets of sinuses inside everyones's face:
Each one of these sinuses has a narrow passageway through which aeration occurs, and through which the mucus drain out of the sinuses and into the nasal cavity. From the nasal cavity, the mucus drains down the back of the throat. When the sinuses are blocked, this becomes a sinus infection with all the accompanying symptoms of headaches, facial pain, and pressure. Sinus problems can be a recurring and ongoing problem that can develop either from one sinus being blocked or multiple sinuses being blocked.
Endoscopic sinus surgery is done under general anesthesia in our Medicare-certified outpatient surgery center. Magnified endoscopes (telescopes) with instrumentation are used to open up the blocked sinuses. Special attention is usually directed at the middle meatus, which is the area where most sinus cavities drain into the nose. Polyps are removed with the endoscopes. If the ethmoid sinuses are blocked, an ethmoidectomy will be performed to remove the ethmoid air cell. The maxillary sinuses are opened only if needed, provided they have polyps or the skin lining on the inside of the sinuses is swollen. This procedure takes 30-45 minutes to perform, and two sponges are placed inside the nose to help with bleeding. These are removed by the patient the following day.