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What is FESS?

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is an option for patients when other medical treatments have failed. The surgery addresses each individual sinus and removes the blockages allowing each sinus ventilate and drain through its natural opening. The procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia on an outpatient basis with minimal discomfort. This procedure allows the lining of the sinuses to heal and decreases discharge, pain, and pressure that occur from blocked sinuses. 

What is image guidance?

The sinuses are physically close to the brain, the eyes, and major arteries—all areas of concern when a fiber-optic tube is inserted into the sinus region. The growing use of a new technology—image-guided endoscopic surgery—is alleviating that concern. This type of surgery may be recommended for severe forms of chronic sinusitis, in cases when previous sinus surgery has altered anatomical landmarks, or where a patient’s sinus anatomy is very unusual, making typical surgery difficult. Image-guidance is a near-three-dimensional mapping system that combines computed tomography (CT) scans and real-time information about the exact position of surgical instruments using infrared signals. In this way, surgeons can navigate their surgical instruments through complex sinus passages and provide surgical relief more precisely.

How is FESS performed?

All procedures are performed through the nostrils with a thin, flexible telescopic camera. Specialized instruments are used to remove diseased tissue, nasal polyps or other obstructions. Straightening a deviated nasal septum (septoplasty) or reducing enlarged turbinates (turbinoplasty) at the same time may improve the results of sinus surgery.

Can sinus and breathing surgery be combined with a rhinoplasty?

Yes. Because the recovery periods are the same, no additional time is needed. A form-fitting splint is often placed over the nose for the first week. Insurance may help with sinus and breathing care as well as with traumatic nose injuries, but will never pay for cosmetic surgery.

How is the recovery from sinus surgery?

Patients will usually be comfortable enough to go home an hour or two after the procedure. Dr. Saigal does not usually place packing in the nose as this can cause discomfort. For the first few days a feeling of a “head cold” is normal and this may resolve before the first office visit one week after the procedure. The nose is cleaned at the follow-up visit and most patients can go about their normal activities. Improvement in ease of breathing and a decrease or complete elimination in frequency and severity of sinus infections is common.

After recovery from sinus surgery, patients notice an incredible improvement in health and well-being.

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