Sinusitis and Chronic Sinus Disease
Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses. Sinusitis can be characterized as either acute (less than 10 days in duration, usually occurring following a cold or the flu) or chronic (greater than 3 months in duration, usually resulting from constant nasal irritation by allergens or anatomic obstruction). Sinusitis is caused by the inability of the sinuses to drain because of obstruction or poor movement of mucous.
Symptoms of sinusitis include nasal congestion, postnasal drip, thick green or clear nasal drainage, facial pain or pressure, fever, headache, upper jaw or teeth pain, reduced sense of smell or taste, and chronic cough.
Treatment of sinusitis varies, ranging from medications such as antibiotics or decongestants to sinus surgery. The ENT physician will know best how to develop a treatment plan that is optimal for the particular sinus condition at issue and the unique needs of the patient.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
The purpose of endoscopic Sinus surgery is to correct any anatomic barriers to the drainage of the sinuses. This may include straightening the nasal septum, removing tissue blocking the sinus openings, or widening the natural openings of the sinuses.
The surgery is done with special cameras called endoscopes placed through the nose, meaning there is no need to perform any visible incisions on the face. Additionally, new technologies such as intraoperative CAT Scan guidance systems and balloon dilation techniques have been developed which can increase the success rate of the surgery while also decreasing the complication rate.
Most patients who have sinus surgery go home the same day and are allowed to recover in the comfort of their own home.
Balloon Sinuplasty™ is an additional technique often used during endoscopic sinus surgery. It allows the ENT physician to find the natural opening and drainage pathways of the sinuses and then to dilate them to allow for improved ventilation and drainage. This procedure is performed in a minimally invasive manner, resulting in minimal pain and scar tissue development.