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Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

How Does A Doctor Determine If Surgery Is Necessary?

Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 12:20

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

The first thing a doctor will do is take a detailed medical history and make note of all symptoms, as well as how long the symptoms have been present. The doctor will need to know any medications being taken, as well as any other conditions such as high blood pressure, eye diseases or bleeding disorders.

  • If there is another course of treatment besides surgery that has not yet been tried, the doctor may prescribe new medications.
  • If surgery appears to be the best course of action, a CT scan, which is a special type of x-ray, is usually taken so that the doctor can see all of the sinuses prior to using the endoscope. The CT scan serves as a kind of road map for the endoscopic examination.
  • Before the endoscopic examination, a nasal spray is used to shrink and anesthetize sinus tissues. The doctor will then insert the endoscope into the nostrils to determine what is causing the sinusitis symptoms, such as thick mucus, swelling, small openings, deviated septum, or polyps.
  • The doctor will only perform surgery if the examination shows problems that can be surgically corrected.

In very rare cases, the doctor will determine from medical history and examination that surgery will not correct the problem. In this case, sinusitis symptoms are caused by a separate condition. Those with cystic fibrosis or diseases that cause immune deficiency, such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS are especially prone to sinusitis.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery