Those who do not find relief of their chronic sinus infections through medications may be candidates for sinus surgery. Endoscopic surgery is minimally invasive, takes only 30 to 90 minutes to perform, and improves drainage within the sinus passage. It is important to note that one of the benefits of sinus surgery is that proper medications are able to be delivered to the inflamed sinus. This means that sinus surgery will not completely prevent sinus infections in the future, but will make them less likely to occur and easier to treat. You may still need to take your medications after the surgery.
Local or general anesthesia is needed for this surgery. An endoscope, a thin, flexible tube with a light on the end, is inserted into the nasal cavity. Once your doctor is able to visually confirm the source of your sinus issues—usually a narrow cavity—a surgical device is inserted into the nasal cavity. A small amount of bone, tissue or other materials that may be blocking the sinus is removed.
Most patients do not experience too much pain after surgery. Over-the-counter pain meds should be fine; stronger ones can be prescribed if needed. The discomfort, congestion and drainage should improve after the first few days; minor symptoms may linger for up to several weeks. Endoscopic Sinus Surgery