There are an estimated 250,000 sinus surgeries performed each year in the United States. Knowing when sinus surgery is or is not recommended for your particular situation is based on several factors. The goal of this article is to make sure you understand what sinus surgery entails and what elements determine when it is necessary.
What exactly is sinus surgery?
Your sinuses are hollow spaces in the skull and face bones that extent through the cheekbones, forehead, behind the nose and in between the eyes. They are all interconnected and exist to mainly produce mucus that keeps the soft tissue moist and healthy. Properly functioning sinuses trap bacteria and filters the air on its way to the lungs. If blockage occurs in the sinuses and they are not able to drain freely, your sinuses are no longer able to properly function.
Sinus surgery is a procedure performed by an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor. The goal of this procedure is to open the pathways of the sinuses and clear out any blockages. Sinus surgery is a last resort option for individuals with ongoing sinus infections or for people with abnormal sinus structures or growths that have developed within the sinus cavities. A fairly new alternative to routine complex sinus surgery is Balloon Sinuplasty which is an endoscopic nasal surgery that uses a small balloon catheter to drain the large nasal sinuses. Benefits to this procedure over routine complex surgery options include:
-Faster recovery time
-Lower risk of bleeding
-Reduced need for operative and post operative pain medications
-Reduced risk of infection
-Reduced risk of continued inflammation or scarring
When is sinus surgery necessary?
One of the more common reasons sinus surgery becomes necessary is chronic sinusitis, which is inflammation of the tissue lining of the sinuses (sinus infection). Common sources of chronic sinusitis include an infection (typical after a common cold where an excess of mucus accumulates within the sinus cavities), nasal polyps (growths commonly from scar tissue build up), and inflammation or swelling of the lining of your sinuses (often from allergies). Your ENT will navigate through several courses of action prior to surgery recommendations including, but not limited to:
-Allergy testing & ongoing allergy management
If none of these bring about relief your ENT will recommend a CT scan. If there is still evidence of chronic sinusitis or obstructions of the sinuses are found that could only be relieved by surgery, then it is time to discuss surgical options.
Other reasons sinus surgery may become necessary are when sinus disease is caused by a fungal infection, if there are structural abnormalities of the nose or sinuses, if infection has spread to bones surrounding your sinuses, or any signs of cancer in the sinuses.
If you experience four or more sinus infections a year, you are considered to have chronic sinusitis. If you are seeking options for relief, start with a local ear nose and throat doctor. The solution could be as simple as managing allergens in your environment! At Camellia ENT, you will receive the highest quality of care, have access to the latest technology and procedures and can expect to be taken care of by a compassionate and competent staff that is second to none. Our state of the art ENT’s will walk you through the source of your sinus complications and recommend the best course of action. To Meet our Doctors and learn more about Camellia ENT, click here!