If you’re curious about functional endoscopic sinus surgery, read on to learn about the easiest way to relieve chronic sinus infections.
What Are Sinus Infections?
Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, is inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, usually caused by bacteria, viruses, or structural problems in the nose. When this happens, the mucus doesn’t drain properly. Instead, the result is nasal congestion and a buildup of mucus around the eyes and face.
Symptoms of a sinus infection can include a runny nose, nasal inflammation, blocked or stuffy nose (congestion), drainage down the back of the throat, and a reduced sense of smell or taste.
Other symptoms can include tenderness or swelling around the nose, cheeks, eyes, and forehead. People with sinusitis may also experience ear pain, headache, a cough, sore throat, headache, bad breath, or fatigue.
What Are Chronic Sinus Infections?
In cases of acute sinusitis, you can expect the condition to clear up in under four weeks. Chronic sinusitis can last four to twelve weeks, or even longer. If you are experiencing a fever, swelling around the eyes, a severe headache, vision problems, or sinus infection symptoms that last more than 10 days, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as you can.
While acute sinusitis is caused by viral infections or allergies, chronic sinusitis can be caused by the following:
- Respiratory tract infections and allergies such as hay fever.
- Nasal polyps. These are noncancerous growths that can potentially block the sinus or nasal passages.
- Deviated nasal septum. The septum is the wall between the nostrils. If crooked, it may block or restrict the sinus passages and make the symptoms of a sinus infection worse.
- Other medical conditions. Cystic fibrosis, HIV, and other immune system-related conditions can result in nasal blockage.
People with asthma, fungal infections, dental infections, and regular exposure to pollutants or cigarette smoke are also at increased risk of chronic sinusitis.
What Is Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (abbreviated as FESS) is a common, minimally-invasive surgical method used to remedy chronic sinusitis. This procedure gets its name from the idea that it restores function to the sinuses. A magnifying endoscope (a thin rod affixed with a light source) is inserted through the nostrils to see and remove affected tissue and bone.
At Anne Arundel ENT, our otolaryngologists use a specialized surgical CT navigation system in all of our endoscopic sinus surgery procedures. This enables us to accurately place our instruments in the sinus cavity, even in patients who have undergone previous sinus surgery or have extensive polyps.
The minimally-invasive functional endoscopic sinus surgery is performed under general anesthesia. At the end of your sinus surgery, your doctor may also use the innovative Hydrodebrider™ System. This is a special device that delivers a powered spray to “wash out” your sinuses, helping to remove the bacteria associated with chronic sinus infections.
While your recovery time will depend on your overall health and the type of sinus surgery you undergo, most patients can expect to return to work or school in several days to a week. Patients can also expect to resume their normal routine in about 3 weeks, but recovery time can vary. It is important to follow any instructions given to you by your doctor to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery process.
Am I A Good Candidate For Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?
Many patients do not need functional endoscopic sinus surgery to treat their chronic sinus infections. However, if you find that medical treatments or lifestyle changes do not keep symptoms under control, it’s time to talk to one of the experts at Anne Arundel ENT.
If you are seeking treatment for acute or chronic sinusitis in Annapolis or Severna Park, Maryland, consider Anne Arundel ENT. Anne Arundel ENT is proud to offer over 20 years of experience treating conditions that affect the ear, nose, and throat, as well as state-of-the-art facial plastic surgery and MediSpa services. Call us today at 410-573-9191.