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Overview

Endoscopic sinus surgery is used to open blocked sinuses due to inflammation from recurrent infections, allergies or nasal polyps. Sinus mucous membranes swell and become blocked, causing pain, drainage and impaired breathing. Goals of endoscopic sinus surgery typically include:

  • Reduce or eliminate the number of and severity of sinus infections
  • Improvement in symptoms associated with sinusitis
  • Improvement of airflow through the nose
  • Improvement in sleep quality through better breathing and stopping snoring

Who is a candidate?

Good candidates for endoscopic sinus surgery include patients who have:

  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Chronic sinus pressure or headaches
  • Persistent nasal congestion and discolored drainage from the nose
  • Trouble breathing through the nose
  • A deviated septum
  • Nasal or sinus polyps
  • Sinus disease due to a fungal infection
  • Enlarged nasal turbinates

What to expect

In the past, this procedure was done under general anesthesia, but it can now be done in the office under local anesthesia by Dr. Zachmann. A thin camera rod with a light at the end is placed in the nose, providing visualization and magnification of the sinus tissues. Specialized instruments are then used to safely and effectively open causes of sinus blockage such as a deviated septum, nasal polyps or diseased tissue.

Specialized instruments are also used to straighten the septum and reduce the size of the turbinates if required. Endoscopic sinus surgery does not involve cutting through the skin as it is performed entirely through the nostrils. Recovery feels like recovering from a bad cold that improves over a period of days.

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