Sinusitis/ Sinus Surgery
Sinusitis is a condition that refers to an inflammation of the lining within the paranasal sinuses. Sinusitis can be classified by location:
- maxillary, which causes pain or pressure in the cheek area;
- frontal, which causes pain or pressure above and behind the eyes;
- ethmoid, which causes pain or pressure between or behind the eyes; and
- sphenoid, which causes pain or pressure behind the eyes.
Sinusitis can also be classified by duration:
- acute, lasts for four weeks or less;
- subacute, lasts four to twelve weeks;
- chronic, lasts more than twelve weeks;
- recurrent, which consists of several acute attacks within a year.
Most acute cases of sinusitis are caused by an inflammation of the sinuses that eventually lead to a bacterial infection. With chronic sinusitis, the membranes of both the paranasal sinuses and the nose are thickened because they are constantly inflamed, possibly due to allergies, nasal polyps or asthma.
Sinusitis can be treated through courses of antibiotics, decongestants, saline sprays or in severe chronic cases, oral steroids. When medical therapy fails, surgery may be an alternative. The goal of the surgery is to improve sinus drainage and reduce blockage. The surgeon will enlarge the opening of the sinuses, remove any polyps and correct any defects that contribute to the nasal obstruction.
There are several different types of sinus surgery, most of which can be performed through minimally invasive techniques that require no incisions and no hospital stay. Some of the most commonly performed procedures include functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), image-guided surgery, and Balloon Sinuplasty.
Most sinus and nasal surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis under general or local anesthesia. Patients may experience mild swelling and discomfort after surgery, but are usually able to recover quickly with no lasting side effects.
Image-Guided Sinus Surgery with the Medtronic Fusion Navigation System
When necessary, we use the top-of-the-line Fusion Navigation System from Medtronic. This innovative electromagnetic image-guided system provides our surgeons with the most detailed, real-time views of the sinus anatomy during the procedure. This allows our doctors achieve the safest, most complete surgeries. They are operating with the maximum amount of information about the unique anatomy of each patient and visualizing the relative location of the instrument tip within the structure of that particular patient’s sinuses.
Image-guided surgery is often recommended for revision sinus surgery, distorted sinus anatomy, and extensive development of polyps.
Offering the most reliable accuracy of any device of its kind, the Fusion system has customizable, procedure-specific settings and automated instrument verification. It is useful for everything from the simplest to the most complex types of image-guided sinus surgery.
In-office Balloon Sinuplasty and Sinus Irrigation
Balloon sinuplasty is an FDA-approved advanced treatment option to relieve the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. This minimally invasive procedure uses a thin, flexible balloon catheter that is placed in the nose and gradually inflated to relieve blockages in the nasal passage by gently restructuring the bones in the nose. It restores normal sinus function while maintaining the lining of the sinus and keeps post-operative pain and bleeding at a minimum.
This procedure offers patients many benefits as an alternative to conventional sinus surgery. Some of these benefits include:
- Minimally invasive – The soft, flexible tube gently opens sinus cavities and avoids damaging surrounding tissue or bones
- Safe – Balloon sinuplasty is regarded as a safe and effective procedure with no serious complications
- Faster recovery times – Many patients return to their regular activities within 24 hours
- Reduced bleeding – By not removing tissue or bone during this procedure, bleeding and other surgical side effects are often reduced
Balloon sinuplasty is performed under general anesthesia in the operating room or under local anesthesia in the office. After balloon sinuplasty, most patients can return to work and other normal activities within 24 hours.