Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: Putting It All Together

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to endoscopic sinus surgery.

  • Endoscopic sinus surgery is an outpatient procedure used to remove sinus blockages that cause sinusitis.
  • An endoscope is a thin, lighted instrument, much like a telescope with a wide-angle camera lens, which is inserted into the nostrils. The doctor can examine the sinuses by looking through an eyepiece at the opposite end of the endoscope. Surgical instruments can then be used next to the endoscope to remove blockages or growths, such as polyps.
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery is an effective procedure for correcting sinusitis, deviated septum, polyps, and sometimes tumors.
  • To determine if surgery is recommended, a doctor will take a detailed medical history and list of symptoms, noting how long the symptoms have been present. A CT scan is usually taken next to obtain an overview of the sinuses prior to the use of the endoscope.
  • Surgery will be performed only if all other courses of treatment have failed or if symptoms are especially severe.
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery lasts 60 to 90 minutes, after which the patient spends an hour or two in a recovery room. As long as the patient has someone else available to drive, he or she can usually go home the same day.
  • Full recovery from endoscopic sinus surgery generally takes 30 to 60 days. It is recommended that the person not return to work or school for about a week after surgery.
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery has become popular among doctors because it leaves no scars and causes less pain and discomfort for the patient than traditional sinus surgeries.

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