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Surgery for sinusitis, also called sinusectomy, is indicated in cases of chronic sinusitis, in which symptoms last more than 3 months, and which is caused by anatomical problems, such as altered nasal septum, nasal polyps or the narrowing of the orofacial cavities, for example.
The purpose of the surgery is to expand or unclog the natural drainage channels of the sinuses, preventing the accumulation of secretions that end up infected and inflaming the sinuses, generating sinusitis.
Although it has good results, in most cases, surgery is only done to allow nasal medications to be able to reach the sinuses and relieve inflammation more quickly.Thus, surgery may not be able to cure sinusitis, but it helps medical treatment to relieve symptoms faster.
When is indicated
Surgery for sinusitis is indicated when a person has frequent episodes of sinusitis and when drug treatment is not enough to relieve symptoms or prevent further episodes.
Furthermore, this surgery is indicated when sinusitis is the result of some anatomical change, such as the presence of nasal polyps, deviated septum and narrowing of the orofacial cavities, for example. Thus, when performing the surgery, it is possible to drain the accumulated secretions and promote adequate ventilation of the sinuses.
Thus, the doctor can make an assessment of the person's general state of he alth and indicate the performance of sinusectomy, in most cases surgery by videoendoscopy is indicated, since it is associated with a lower risk of complications and the recovery time is shorter.
See how sinusitis treatment is done.
How the surgery is performed
Surgery for sinusitis is usually done under general anesthesia to decrease the risk of complications and avoid discomfort for the person. The type of surgery normally indicated is sinusectomy by videoendoscopy, in which it is not necessary to make cuts and, therefore, there is no scar related to the procedure and the recovery time is shorter when compared to traditional surgery.
Sinus surgery by videoendoscopy consists of introducing an instrument through the nostril with a small camera attached to its end, which is capable of providing images of the inside of the nose so that the doctor can drain the accumulated secretion, promote adequate aeration of the sinuses and remove tissue or bone that may be causing obstruction.
As the procedure does not require external cuts, after surgery it is recommended that the person stays in the hospital for about 24 hours so that they are monitored and the effect of anesthesia wears off.In addition, as it is a simpler procedure, the recovery time is about 2 to 4 weeks, and it is important to follow all the doctor's recommendations.
Another type of surgery for sinusitis is that performed with an inflatable balloon, called balloon sinuplasty. In it, the doctor introduces a thin instrument that has an inflatable balloon at the tip, into the person's nostril. When the instrument arrives at the correct location, the balloon is inflated, breaking some small bone parts that are squeezing the channels, facilitating the removal of secretions.
What is recovery like
Recovery from sinus surgery is relatively quick, however it can be a little painful, so it's important to follow your doctor's advice. Therefore, during this phase it is recommended:
- Avoid touching the nose;
- Wash your face with cold water only;
- Take all medications prescribed by the doctor;
- Eat a soft and cold diet in the first week;
- Avoid eating hot foods or drinking hot drinks for 7 days;
- Do nasal washes daily or as directed by your doctor.
It is normal that after sinus surgery the person has nasal obstruction, swelling in the face and bleeding, however these symptoms pass over time as the inflammation passes. To promote recovery and relieve discomfort, the doctor may indicate the application of ice to the nose or face region or the use of anti-inflammatory medications.
Headache, pressure in the ears and a feeling of heaviness in the face are also common in the first 3 to 4 days and can be treated with pain relievers prescribed by the doctor. From the 8th day it is possible to return to your normal activities and physical activity can occur after the 1st month, however it is important to consult your doctor first to find out if there is any risk.
Complications of sinus surgery are rare, especially when the surgery is performed in a certified clinic. However, as the sinuses are very close to the eyes and the base of the brain, in some cases, bleeding, eye and vision damage, or eye and brain infection can occur.