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If previous treatment for sinusitis has not worked the endoscopic sinus surgery is an effective and minimally invasive procedure to help.
If you have been suffering from sinusitis for a while, you should not wait to visit your doctor and get it treated.
Your sinuses are air-filled spaces at the front of your skull, between your eyes and above your upper jaw, that are connected to the inside of your nose. Sinusitis is an infection of the mucous membrane that lines your sinuses. It causes symptoms of pain, a blocked nose, discharge, reduced sense of smell and the feeling of mucus at the back of your nose or throat.
The mucous membrane that lines your sinuses produces mucus, which helps to keep the air you breathe clean, warm and moist. If the opening between a sinus and the inside of your nose gets blocked, the mucus gets trapped and can become infected.
This can cause the mucous membrane to become inflamed, causing it to swell and form extra folds in your nose and sinuses. These are called polyps (small growths) and usually make the symptoms worse.
The aim is to widen the passage between the sinus and your nose so that mucus no longer becomes trapped. This should prevent the sinusitis from coming back but your sense of smell may not improve.
Antibiotics may help to clear the infection. If your sinusitis is caused by an allergy, you may be able to prevent sinusitis by avoiding the ‘triggers’ of your allergy or by taking medication such as antihistamines or a nasal steroid spray. If you use a nasal steroid spray for a long time, you can reduce the size of polyps, which may mean that you do not need surgery.
The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic, but a local anaesthetic can be used. The operation usually takes 1 to 2 hours. Endoscopic sinus surgery is performed through your nostrils and does not result in any facial scars or change to the outside shape of your nose.
Your surgeon will use a small telescope (endoscope) to examine your nasal passages. They will use instruments to remove any polyps and to widen the passages from your sinuses into your nose.