The sinuses are hollow air-filled pockets located behind the nose, cheeks and forehead. They are lined with a thin layer of mucus, and their job is to help filter the air you breathe in. The sinuses can become infected and blocked. In some cases, after other options have been exhausted, they require surgical treatment. Below we review everything you need to know about sinus surgery.
Types of Sinus Surgery
There are several types of sinus surgery, including:
- Functional endoscopic sinus surgery.
- Turbinate reduction surgery.
- Balloon sinuplasty.
- Sinus ostial dilation surgery.
Your doctor will determine which type of surgery you need based on your unique situation.
How Sinus Surgery Is Performed
How your sinus surgery is performed depends on exactly what type you undergo but will include the following steps:
- First you will be placed under local or general anesthesia. You’ll discuss which option is better for you with your doctor in advance.
- Second a thin, flexible scope will be advanced into the sinuses so the surgeon can see what they’re doing.
- Then the doctor will surgically remove any blockages, polyps or sections of bone that are causing sinus dysfunction.
- For some surgeries, like balloon sinuplasty, a balloon catheter is advanced and inflated to open the sinus passages, then they are flushed with a saline rinse.
- Finally, the surgeon will remove all the medical equipment, and you’ll be moved to a recovery room.
Preparing for Sinus Surgery
In preparation for your sinus surgery, you should avoid over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin for at least a week. Talk to your doctor about what other medications you’re currently taking so they can tell you if they need to be paused.
You should also arrange a ride to and from the procedure, as you will not be able to drive home after being under anesthesia.
Recovering from Sinus Surgery
Follow-up care is essential to ensure the sinuses heal properly. Be sure to follow all the doctor’s post-operative instructions carefully.
Take all medications as directed. These may include corticosteroids and prescription pain relievers. You should also keep the sinuses moistened with a saline nasal spray to prevent blood from crusting and blocking the sinus passages.
For at least a week you should avoid blowing your nose and performing any strenuous activity like running and weight lifting. If you want to enjoy visits to Brazos Valley Tree Farm and Garden Nursery free of sinus symptoms, call the sinus experts at Texas ENT & Allergy today.