In today’s post, our specialists will talk through sinus surgery – what’s involved, types of problems and even risks. It’s one of the treatments we offer here in London and can help our patients feel more like themselves again.
What are the sinuses?
They’re small spaces inside your skull, based around the eyes and nose, which produce mucus. This helps lubricate the passages inside the nose and helps ensure pollutants, dirt and organisms are flushed out of the body. There are also tiny hairs lining the insides of the sinuses, which help drain mucus out.
What problems can develop in the sinuses?
One of the main problems with the sinuses is the potential for sinus infection, which can cause congestion in the nose, headaches, blocked ears, cough, post-nasal drip and a feeling of pressure.
Nasal growths can also occur. These are swellings of the inside passages. They can eventually lead to problems with smell and even breathing difficulties. Signs can be similar to that of sinus infection, but can also include facial pain, affected smell or taste, and sleep problems, such as sleep apnea.
When is surgery needed?
What does sinus surgery involve?
It’s a way to help clear any blockages in these cavities to help open up the sinuses. It’s usually recommended for those with frequent sinus infections, or who have an unusual structure to their sinuses. People with growths in the sinuses may also benefit. Treatment is usually straightforward and may involve removing tiny pieces of bone, tissue, membranes or even growths.
What is recovery like?
Some discomfort is typical, and there may be bleeding – sterile material can be placed inside the passages to control this. In most cases, patients can go home on the same day as their sinus surgery. Pain relief may also be prescribed or recommended.
What about risks?
Risks are usually rare, although bleeding can be common. Some scenarios could include a clot developing in the septum (that flat piece of tissue that divides the nostrils inside the nose), and as with any kind of surgery, it’s possible that surrounding structures can be damaged or become infected. Jon Hughes, your ENT specialist, will discuss any risk factors with you at the point of consultation.
Are there alternatives to sinus surgery?
In some cases. Treatments can include saline sprays; antibiotics; decongestants; steroids and allergy medications. If any of these apply to you, Jon Hughes, your ENT specialist, will talk you through them.
What’s my next step?
We recommend booking a consultation with Jon. Visit our website for all the details, and we’ll see you at our London clinic very soon.