Understanding Sinuses and Sinus Surgery

11 June 2020
 Categories: , Blog

Sinuses are located around your nose and eyes. They are cavities that are mainly tasked with mucus production. Mucus is important because it helps keep your nasal canals or passages moist and also provides a protective layer that helps keep out harmful substances like dirt, pollen, pollutants, organisms, etc.

What Are Some Sinus Problems?

Some people may have problems with their sinuses and experience symptoms like difficulty in breathing, stuffy noses, feeling pressure around the forehead, eyes and nose, headaches, blocked ears, runny nose, snoring, sinus infections, reduction in sense of smell, etc.

Such symptoms help ENT specialists determine whether you are suffering from sinusitis or nasal polyps. These are the two main conditions that affect your sinuses.

  • Sinusitis is when your nasal canals or sinuses swell causing headaches, pressure, a stuffy nose, blocked ears, etc.
  • Nasal polyps occur when the nasal lining swells causing difficulty in breathing, headache, snoring, reduction in sense of smell, etc.

What Is Sinus Surgery?

Sinus surgery is simply a procedure to remove the substance that is blocking your nasal canals. Such substances can be nasal polyps, tumours, damaged tissue, swollen tissue, bones, mucous membranes, etc.

Not everyone requires surgery; your ENT specialist needs to examine you first to determine whether medication will treat your sinus problem. If not, surgery might be required.

How Is Sinus Surgery Conducted?

This depends on the results of your sinus exam and whether you previously had sinus surgery.

  • Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

If you have a minor sinus problem, the ENT surgeon might use an endoscope, which is inserted into your nostrils to illuminate your nasal passage and direct the sinus surgery tools.

  • Image-Guided Surgery

This can be carried out if you have had previous sinus surgery and if you have severe blockages. In addition to the endoscope, the ENT specialist uses infrared signals and CT scans.

  • Caldwell-Luc Surgery

This is the last resort, which is conducted if the above surgeries are not possible. It is invasive because the ENT specialist accesses your sinuses through your mouth's upper jaw.

What Happens After Surgery?

Depending on the surgery that was performed, you can go home the same day, the ENT specialist might require you spend a night and go home the next day or you may need to spend several nights in the hospital.

You can expect some slight pain or discomfort in the first few days, but the ENT specialist can prescribe pain meds. Listen to and follow the ENT specialist's instructions to ensure proper healing.

For more information on sinus surgery, reach out to a local ENT professional.