Sinusitis is a condition, which causes the nasal passageway to get blocked by a tissue or bone growth. Its severe stages are known as chronic sinusitis. In such cases, the passageways get blocked at such an extent that breathing becomes almost impossible. To alleviate the condition, doctors usually perform an intrusive procedure, known as functional endoscopic sinus surgery.
This surgery usually takes around an hour to be completed and relieves most of the symptoms of acute sinusitis. Once the treatment is complete, patients should be able to perceive the difference easily. The nasal passageways are usually cleared out, which should allow the patient to breath in an easier manner.
There are some side effects to the treatment that may show up. After the surgery, post-treatment is also required to completely recover from the effects. 90% of the patients report that the surgery is successful.
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is performed at a hospital or a clinic. In it, the doctor inserts an endoscope inside the nasal passageway. This gives the physician a better idea of the area inside that needs to be cleared.
Alongside the endoscope, specialized surgical instruments are also inserted into the nasal cavity. These instruments allows the removal of bones and tissue blocking the passage. Polyps and excess mucous are also removed using these instruments. In some severe cases, a laser tool may also be used to burn away the unwanted tissues, clearing the nasal cavity in the process. Local anaesthesia is normally used, but general anesthesia can also be administered.
The procedure does not take too long to be completed and in most cases such a surgery can be finished in under two hours. However, further treatment may be needed if the surgery is unsuccessful in removing the sinusitis completely. Medications are sometimes prescribed to avoid infection and relapse. Antibiotics are the most common form of drug that may be prescribed, but other medicines can be used as well.
Patients may take a few weeks to recover from the surgery. Blood from the nose may be noticed during recovery. Patients should keep gauze handy in case of blood discharge from the nasal cavity. In case of inflammation, nasal spray may also be used for six months post the surgery.
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is recommended for people who have acute sinusitis. The surgery is the last option and is usually reserved for those cases where the severe sinusitis does not respond to other forms of treatment and medication.
Acute sinusitis patients whose condition can be managed through medication are generally not eligible for the surgery. However, they may elect to go for the same, nonetheless. Individuals suffering from minor sinusitis or no sinusitis are not eligible for the surgery.
As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks to the treatment. However, the risk decreases exponentially if the surgery is performed by an experienced doctor.
Some of the side effects include failure to resolve the issue, recurrence of the sinusitis even after surgery. Nasal damage may also be caused if an inexperienced physician performs the surgery. Similarly, damage can also be caused to the eyes and the base of the skull. Other possible side effects include partial loss of sense of smell.
If the surgery is being performed using general anesthesia, the patient must ensure that they do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours prior the procedure. The patient should not be suffering from fever during the surgery as well to avoid complications.
After the surgery, patients may notice blood from the nose. This usually stops a few weeks after the procedure. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds may be prescribed to the patient as well. Saltwater washes for the nose needs to be used to keep the passageway moist. Certain activities such as blowing the nose and strenuous exercises must also be kept in check at this point.
Once the surgery is complete, the patient may need anywhere between 3-4 weeks to recover completely. In case of complications, the recovery period may be longer as well.
The surgery costs anywhere between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 75,000. Taking into account the cost of the medication and other items, the total cost comes to around Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 80,000.
The surgery may not always be successful in removing the issue completely. Further surgeries may be needed to weed out the disorder
Alternative treatment for chronic sinusitis includes a procedure known as Balloon Sinuplasty. A small balloon shaped catheter is inserted into the blocked passageway. After insertion, the balloon is inflated to open up a space in the nasal cavity, relieving the blockage.
Although this treatment is fairly unorthodox, quite a few clinic now offers this treatment. However, this treatment is most likely not available in India yet.