Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

In endoscopic sinus surgery, an endoscope is inserted into the nose, providing the doctor with an inside view of the sinuses. Surgical instruments are then inserted alongside the endoscope.

This procedure allows the doctor to remove minimal amounts of bone or other tissues blocking the sinus openings or growths (polyps) of the mucous membrane. In some cases, a laser is used to burn tissue that may be blocking the sinus opening. A small rotating device that scrapes away tissue may also be used.

We perform this surgery in our office, and it typically takes 30 to 90 minutes.

What Happens After Surgery?

Minor discomfort and bleeding are common during the first two weeks after surgery. Weekly visits to the surgeon may be necessary for about three weeks after the surgery to have dried blood and mucus removed.

Recovery may also involve:

  • Using removable gels/soft packing to absorb drainage.
  • Using a humidifier to keep room air moist, especially in the bedroom.
  • Using a nasal spray containing a steroid for 6 months or longer to reduce inflammation.
  • Taking antibiotics.
  • Avoiding activities such as blowing the nose, strenuous exercise, and bending forward for a few days.
  • Why It Is Performed?

    Endoscopic surgery may be needed when medicine has failed to improve or cure chronic sinusitis. It is the preferred method of surgery for most cases of chronic sinusitis.

    How Well Does It Work?

    Endoscopic surgery improves symptoms in about 90% of patients.

    Because surgery does not always eliminate sinusitis, some patients may need a secondary operation.

    What are the Risks?

    Endoscopic sinus surgery is very safe as our physicians have special training with endoscopic surgical techniques.

    Minor complications (such as scar tissue attaching to nearby tissue or bruising and swelling around the eyes) occur in a small number of people who have this surgery. Major complications (such as heavy bleeding, eye area injury, or spinal fluid leak) occur in fewer than 1% of patients.

    Endoscopic sinus surgery does not cause as much visible scarring as traditional sinus surgery.

    Take Our Sinus Quiz

    To help us personalize a care plan for you. Our quiz measures symptoms, along with frequency and duration, and is used as a tool for diagnosis and treatment.