Surgical Procedures That Can Improve Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis can be a painful condition that often requires nasal steroids and antibiotics, which may become less effective over time. Instead of treating each episode and trying to prevent recurrence, there are surgical options that might eliminate the problem altogether.


Sometimes chronic sinusitis can be attributed to a deviated septum. Usually this deviation occurs as the result of a broken nose that does not heal correctly. During the procedure, the surgeon can remove any excess bone or cartilage and help make the nose appear straight. Although many people consider septoplasty to be a purely cosmetic procedure, there are medical benefits to the surgery. Correcting the nose allows the person to breathe better through their nose, and normal nasal drainage may pass through easily, thereby reducing the risk of sinus infections. After the surgery, people may notice their nasal passages do not feel as dry and there is less cracking and nosebleeds.

Removal Of Obstructive Tissue

If there are no obvious structural problems that can explain chronic sinusitis, a doctor may want imaging tests to see inside the nose and sinuses. An endoscope is a small, flexible camera that can be inserted in the nose and it allows doctors to see any problems. If problems are detected, this same endoscope can be used during surgical procedures. For example, a surgeon may want to remove redundant tissue in the nasal passages or sinuses, which can include polyps, that contribute to obstructing the nasal passages. With the endoscope, the surgeon can see exactly where to go and insert small surgical instruments to remove the tissue and cauterize any bleeding.

Balloon Sinuplasty

Much like unblocking a blood vessel, the sinuses can be unblocked by using a small balloon. With balloon sinuplasty, the surgeon uses an endoscope to see inside the nasal passages and sinuses, and determine if there is narrowing of the passages that prevents mucus from escaping. Once the narrowing is found, a small, uninflated balloon is inserted into the targeted area using a catheter. After the balloon is in place, it is inflated, which helps press the tissue against the sides of the nasal passages. Unlike unblocking a blood vessel, there is no stent keeping the blockage open, so it is possible the area will begin to narrow again. If this occurs, the surgeon may perform the procedure again or use another approach to remove some of the tissue, which may help prevent the narrowing from returning.

There are several factors that contribute to chronic sinusitis. When medications are not enough, it may be time to consider surgical procedures to potentially eliminate the problem once and for all.

For more information, you will want to contact a professional such as Scaccia Frank J MD FACS.