In endoscopic sinus surgery, an endoscope is inserted into the nose, providing the doctor with an inside view of the sinuses.
Surgical instruments are inserted alongside the endoscope. This allows the doctor to remove small amounts of bone or other material blocking the sinus openings and remove growths (polyps) of the mucous membrane. In some cases a laser is used to burn away tissue blocking the sinus opening. A small rotating burr that scrapes away tissue may also be used.
The surgery may be done in a hospital or in a doctor’s office or clinic. Either local or general anesthesia may be used. The procedure takes 30 to 90 minutes.
What To Expect After Surgery
Minor discomfort and bleeding are common during the first 2 weeks after surgery. Weekly visits to the surgeon may be necessary for about 3 weeks after the surgery to have dried blood and mucus removed.
Recovery also may involve:
- Packing the nose with gauze to absorb bloody drainage
- Taking antibiotics
- Using a nasal spray containing a steroid for 6 months or longer to reduce inflammation
- Using saltwater washes (saline nasal lavage or irrigation) to keep the nasal passages moist
- Avoiding activities such as blowing the nose, exercising strenuously, and bending forward for a few days
- Using a humidifier to keep room air moist, especially in the bedroom