Endoscopic sinus surgery is a type of operation in which the surgeon examines the interior of the nose, the nasal tract, and the openings to the paranasal sinuses. With the use of advanced micro-telescopes and updated instruments, abnormal tissues that cause obstructions could be successfully deleted. In most cases, the surgery can be performed directly through the nostrils, thus post surgery there are no external scars that are left behind. Swelling and mild discomfort are bound to remain after the surgery has culminated.
The surgery works on the simple principle or approach -- that sinus is a reversible disease, provided the underlying obstruction can be identified and corrected. Diagnosis is therefore important and consists of examination, CT scans of the sinuses, rhinomanometry and nasal cytology, smell testing, and selected blood tests. Surgery is recommended only if medical therapy has not worked effectively.
The advantage of endoscopic sinus surgery is the recognition and acknowledgment of the goal of surgery, and that is to open the natural drainage channels and relieve the obstructions. This ensures that the normal physiologic of the nasal tract function are restored. The procedures that were deemed useful in the past were destructive and abrasive in nature. Other advantages over past sinus surgeries are that there is considerably lesser discomfort after the operation, the nasal packing is lesser, nose bleeding has been reduced, minimal recovery time is required, and there is a higher success rate with the conduction of the surgery.
Complications with Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
There are certain complications that can surround the surgical procedure. Some of the potential surgical complications of sinusitis are described below.
Dried blood and mucus drip is an expected after-effect of this operation. This is a normal condition that you may endure for a few days, post operation. You may also notice that blood drips when you bend. You don't need to panic in such situations. However, you should not remain laid back if you have blood dripping profusely after surgery. You must consult your doctor immediately. You may need to be hospitalized and a packing in the nose has to administered in order to stop the nosebleed completely. In very rare cases, an individual might need a blood transfusion or an all together subsequent operation to control the bleeding.
The location of the brain is very close to the sinus. During the surgery, there is a risk of entering the thin wall that is located between the sinus and the brain. The fluid surrounding the brain called the cerebrospinal fluid starts to ooze out when this happens. However, the likelihood of such a situation or medical emergency occurring is bleak. This, if and when occurs, can cause an infection of the brain. A leak of the cerebrospinal fluid has to be curbed with a surgery.
The sinuses are close to the eyes as well. During the operation, the thin wall between the sinuses and eyes can be damaged. When this happens, the eyes could be bruised and as a result swelling can also occur and may further lead to vision impairment. Rare in nature, there are bleak possibilities that the individual may counter eye bleeds. This requires another operation to stop the bleeding. There could be another extremely rare yet serious complication of the eye that may occur, and that is the loss of vision. The vision is impaired and completely lost when the optic nerve is damaged, or when bleeding around the eye occurs.
Infections are possible if you have intolerable pain, uncontrollable nasal discharge, fever, congestion, and severe discomfort. If however you encounter an infection, your medical practitioner will prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.
The surgery may not be fruitful and the disease remains as it is. The problem can come back, and a second endoscopic sinus surgery may be required to clear the disease.
As with any other surgery, there are risks attached to this sinus surgery as well. Nevertheless, the endoscopic sinus surgery complications are rare when an experienced surgeon is dealing with your case.