Sinus surgery encompasses various procedures performed by your local ear, nose, and throat doctor to provide relief from sinus complications. The goal is to open the pathways of your sinus cavities and clear any blockages. Sinus surgery is typically a last resort for ENT’s after all other natural solutions and medicated methods have been exhausted. However, if you have recurring sinus infections and/or complications with your sinuses that affect your day-to-day life, contact your local ENT for options and discuss if sinus surgery is necessary for you. The purpose of this article is to explore the different types of sinus surgeries are available – let’s dive in.
Types of Sinus Surgery
A septoplasty is one of the most frequently performed types of sinus surgery. It involves straightening the septum, which is the bone and cartilage dividing the space between your two nostrils. When there is damage to the septum, or it’s crooked, it is called a deviated septum that, depending on severity, can make it extremely hard to breathe. As stated in a previous post: “Deviated Septum, Signs & Solutions,” 80% of the population has some degree of septal deviation that is noticeable by an ENT or examiner. While it is common, it does not necessarily need to be fixed unless it causes congestion, reduced airflow, difficulty breathing, or other complications with the sinuses that affect your daily activities.
During a septoplasty, the doctor will cut into one side and lift or remove the thin membrane that covers and protects the septum, then reshapes, repositions, or even eliminates the bone and cartilage as seen fit for your situation. Next, the thin membrane is placed back over the septum, and splits may or may not be placed to hold the nasal tissues in place. This procedure is typically 30 – 90 minutes, and patients can expect to go home the same day.
Your turbinates are the small structures inside the nose responsible for cleaning and humidifying the air that passes through the nostrils into the lungs. They are easily inflamed when exposed to allergies, infections, or irritation. If your turbinates become incredibly swollen, it can cause nasal congestion, blockage, or even complete obstruction. If over-the-counter medications such as nasal sprays, allergy medication, or neti pot usage do not resolve your issue, surgery may become necessary to resolve the issue. There are a few different options for reducing the size of turbinates, some more invasive than others. The method will depend on both your ENT and situation. Options include removing part of the bone beneath the turbinates, shaving away some of the tissue, cauterization, coblation, and radiofrequency radiation.
Rhinoplasty is a major surgery that changes the shape of your nose. While many know Rhinoplasty for its cosmetic purposes (a nose job), it serves a very beneficial purpose in the sinus world and can allow you to breathe better. This surgery consists of adding or removing bone, cartilage, skin, or all three to the nose structure.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Endoscopic sinus surgery refers to a small fiber-optic telescope that allows your ENT to open and drain the nasal passageways, restoring their health and overall function through the nostrils. This non-invasive form of surgery means no incisions! It is performed on an outpatient basis and allows for quicker recovery.
Balloon sinuplasty has many benefits over traditional sinus surgeries, including faster recovery times, lower bleeding risks, reduced pain, reduced risk of infection, and more. Balloon Sinuplasty is a type of endoscopic nasal surgery in which a balloon catheter is used to drain the large nasal sinuses. This is a less invasive method than traditional sinus surgeries and allows you to return to normal activities as soon as 24-48 hours after surgery. This relatively new method of sinus surgery is both safe and effective and is excellent for relieving severe cases of rhinosinusitis or sinus inflammation and blockage.
If you are experiencing recurring sinus complications, contact Camellia ENT! Camellia ENT will work with you to find the root cause of your sinus issue and build a custom treatment plan for you. If sinus surgery is necessary, we have some of the best surgeons in the region. Meet our doctors here.