When is Sinus Surgery Necessary?

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The skull comprises several cavities called sinuses, which produce mucus to moisten the nasal passages and keep unwanted particles out, such as dirt. Problems such as abnormal sinus structure, recurrent sinus infections, and abnormal growth in the sinus may cause the cavities to block. Experts recommend Houston sinus surgery to open the pathways of the sinuses to reduce symptoms such as head congestion, runny nose, and pressure around your forehead, eyes, and nose. Here is what happens before sinus surgery.

Preparing for sinus surgery

Like any other surgery, a discussion with your doctor is essential to understand the pre-operative instructions you need to adhere to. For example, you may need to stop taking non-prescription drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen since they put you at risk for excessive bleeding during surgery. Your doctor may also ask you not to eat or drink the night before surgery. You may need pre-operative screening and medications to prevent complications such as swelling and infections. Before surgery, your doctor may also conduct a pre-operative screening.

A consultation is also necessary because your doctor discusses the procedure’s risks with you. Below is a detailed explanation of some of the complications that may result from sinus surgery.

What are the risks of sinus surgery?

Infection

Sinus surgery is often an option for people with a sinus infection. If you have sinusitis, you may develop an infection after surgery.

Restricted airflow

Most people experience improved airflow after sinus surgery. However, scar tissue can build up in the nasal passage, worsening breathing problems. You may require another surgical procedure to remove the scar tissue if this happens.

Damage to surrounding organs and tissue

The sinuses and your eyes are closely located and separated by a thin layer of bone. Damage to the thin layer of bone may occur during surgery, causing bleeding into the eye, but surgeons usually spot and correct that during the procedure. Although rare, surgery may damage muscles that move the eye, causing double vision, which may be temporary or permanent. A change in the functioning of tear ducts may result in excessive tearing.

Bleeding

Bleeding is expected within the first 24 hours after surgery, but sometimes this may go on for several days and weeks. A septal hematoma is another complication of sinus surgery. It is when blood collects in your septum – the bony partition between your nostrils. It usually does not go away on its own and, in most cases, may need to be drained promptly.

What to expect during sinus surgery

First, you receive local or general anesthesia to reduce any pain and discomfort during the procedure. The following steps vary depending on the type of surgery your specialist performs. For endoscopic sinus surgery, your doctor uses an endoscope to get a clear view of the sinuses. Using specialized tools, your healthcare provider widely opens the sinuses and removes any blockages, including nasal polyps, mucous membrane swelling, and scar tissue.

Endoscopic sinus surgery does not involve cutting the skin, and most of the time, patients go home on the same day after the procedure.

For further questions about sinus surgery, request an appointment with your doctor today at Northwest Houston Heart Center.

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