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Know Everything About Sinusitis Surgery

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rajeev Nangia 88% (616 ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Delhi  •  33 years experience
Know Everything About Sinusitis Surgery

What is a Sinusitis Surgery?

The traditional sinus surgery involves the removal of the diseased sinus tissue with improvements in the drainage channels by creating a definite pathway so as to drain out the infection from the cavities.

Usually, endoscopic techniques allow for better access and visualization as compared to making external incisions. This furthers the recovery process from this sort of a surgery.

Unlike other surgeries, a sinusitis surgery aims at re-routing the infected sinus pathways in addition to clearing the damage pathways. Post-operative care is as important as the surgery itself. In fact, insufficient follow-up and poor post-op care are two of the most important reasons behind the failure of this surgery.

Few essential things you need to know before such a surgery:

  1. Balloon Sinuplasty is a comparatively newer method to treat and expand the natural drainage mechanisms of one’s sinus passages.
  2. The patient should refrain from eating or drinking any beverage at least eight hours prior to the surgery.
  3. Once the surgery is carried out, the patient can go home and rest with his/her head elevated for faster recovery. Also, applying a towel wrapped in ice can also help stop the bleeding that might so commonly occur.
  4. Recovery from the surgery can take about 5 days and the patient should not carry out any strenuous activity until cleared by the surgeon.
  5. Post-operative care is of the essence in this sort of a surgery.
  6. Follow up with the doctor if you happen to have fever that refuses to subside even with medications, headaches that do not respond to medications or bleeding that doesn’t stop.
  7. Any swelling in and around the nose or fluid draining from the nose should not be left ignored and untreated.
  8. Identify and stay away from allergens, moisturize your nose frequently with the help of nose moisturizers and avoid the common cold and flu.

Surgery choices

Endoscopic surgery is preferred over traditional surgery for most cases of chronic sinusitis that require surgery. It is less invasive, less expensive, and has a lower rate of complications.

  1. Endoscopic surgery may be done to remove small amounts of bone or other material blocking the sinus openings or to remove growths (polyps). Normally, a thin, lighted tool called an endoscope is inserted through the nose so the doctor can see and remove whatever is blocking the sinuses.
  2. Sinus surgery may be done when complications of sinusitis, such as the development of pus in a sinus, infection of the facial bones, or brain abscess have occurred. In this type of surgery, the doctor makes an opening into the sinus from inside the mouth or through the skin of the face.

What are the complications and risks?

  • Recurrence of polyps or other nasal problems.
  • Excessive bleeding post-surgery.
  • Chronic drainage from the nasal cavities, crusting of one’s nose and excessive dryness.
  • Further aggressive surgery might be required.
  • Damage to one’s eyes.
  • Damage to one’s skull, including drainage of spinal fluid.
  • Facial or upper teeth numbness.
  • Polyps which result in nasal obstruction.

Here are some suggestions for taking care of your nose and sinuses after surgery:

  1. Keep your head elevated to help reduce bleeding and swelling after your operation. The first night after surgery, elevate your head with extra pillows or sleep in a recliner.
  2. If you have packing material and splints in your nose, make sure they stay in place. If the packing gets clogged, breathe through your mouth. Do not remove the packing or splints.
  3. Some bleeding is normal for 2 to 3 days after your operation. If you think you are bleeding a lot, be sure to call your doctor.
  4. Don’t blow your nose for at least a week after surgery. Don’t do any heavy lifting, straining, or strenuous exercise. This increases the likelihood of bleeding in your nose.
  5. If you have to sneeze, try doing it with your mouth open.
  6. Don’t take aspirin. It slows clotting and increases bleeding.

    If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ENT specialist.

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