Endoscopic Sinus Surgery:
A Breakthrough for Sinus Infections
If you’ve tried the
humidifier, the oral decongestants and the antibiotics to treat
your sinus infection and nothing has worked, sometimes doctors may
suggest an endoscopic sinus surgery. Usually an endoscopic sinus
surgery is performed by an ear, nose and throat specialist on an
outpatient basis. An endoscopic sinus surgery is done to restore
the normal drainage of the sinuses. The sinuses are located by the
nose and when healthy, they allow mucus to drain and air to flow
in and out. Endoscopic sinus surgery is performed to enlarge the
openings so the mucus drains easily.
Endoscopic sinus surgery was developed in the 1950s. It involves
inserting an endoscope, which is a very thin fiberoptic tube, into
the nose to get a clear visual of the sinuses. The obstructive tissues
are removed from the sinuses by using micro-telescopes and instruments.
Usually an endoscopic sinus surgery is performed through the nostrils,
leaving no exterior scarring. Also, because it is not very intrusive,
an endoscopic sinus surgery can often be done on an outpatient basis.
Aside from endoscopic sinus surgery, there are other sinus surgeries
available for patients to choose from. Image guided surgery uses
a near-three-dimensional mapping system that uses CT scans and real-time
information to illustrate where the surgical instruments are by
using infrared signals. This provides doctors with a more precise
look into the nasal passages.
Another alternative to endoscopic sinus surgery is the Caldwell
Luc operation. This operation involves improving the drainage of
the maxillary sinus by entering it through the upper jaw, above
the second molar tooth. A connection is then created from the maxillary
sinus to the nose.