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Most instances of sinusitis can be cured with a round of antibiotics, with the worst cases usually involving a trip to the doctor’s office or the emergency ward for a quick intravenous drip to clear the worst out of your system. When clear of symptoms, the sinuses recover to full health fairly quickly.
Some people are particularly susceptible to sinus infection due to thin skin on the insides of their noses, which allows pathogens to infect nasal pathways with greater ease. Others who suffer through chronic sinus infections do so because of lifestyle choices such as smoking or inhaling chemicals, which reduce the immune system while irritating mucous membranes, both of which increase the likelihood of a sinus infection.
In cases of severe, recurring sinus problems, medication may not be enough to stop the flow of constant pain and irritation caused by sinus infections. In these cases, a surgical procedure known as endoscopic sinus surgery is the most popular choice to correct chronic sinus problems on a consistent basis.
Endoscopic surgery makes use of technology that essentially shoves a tube up your nose to see what’s going on inside the nasal canal. This tube allows doctors to examine the surgical needs of the patient, targeting specific areas of the sinus that are affected the most.
Along with this camera tube, surgical tools such as a laser or a nasal scraper slide into the nose. These tools help remove nasal polyps, which are excess tissue that develop in the mucous membranes. This opens up nasal pathways while reducing the amount of tissue susceptible to infection.
After an anesthetic, depending on the skill of the physician and the extent of your problem, the procedure takes between half-an-hour to an hour-and-a-half. The surgery can take place in clinic or doctor’s office, as well as a hospital.
For two weeks after the procedure, you will likely experience mild bleeding, pressure and pain. Follow-up visits to the doctor’s office for three weeks are usually needed to clear dry mucus and blood caked into the nasal canal.
After the procedure, you should avoid strenuous physical activity, pitching your head forward or blowing your nose for a few days. Nasal sprays that include steroids are also prescribed for at least half a year to reduce inflammation and the chance of recurring issues. Using a humidifier, saltwater washes, antibiotics and packing the nose with gauze are part of the recovery process.
Having a camera and surgical tools shoved up your nose isn’t usually the first thing you think of when improving the health of your sinuses, but endoscopic sinus surgery has a remarkable success rate, with around 90% of people reporting an improvement in their sinus health.
Visiting an experienced sinus expert at dedicated clinics such as the facility at Houston Sinus & Allergy increases the rate of success while reducing negative side effects. Endoscopic procedures may be a bit unsettling, but they’re an excellent surgical option when other forms of sinus therapy fail to prevent recurring infections.