The human skull has cavities in the facial bones surrounding the nose. These hollow spaces filled with air are known as sinuses that lighten the head's overall weight. Sinuses are located in the skull behind the forehead, eyes, cheeks, and nasal passage. The sinuses warm and humidify the air you inhale while enhancing speech resonance. In an accident, the sinuses absorb the impact and protect the other facial structures. Sinuses also help drain nasal mucus that protects the nasal passage and keeps unwanted particles like dust and pollutants from entering the body. However, the sinuses may get inflamed or filled with fluids due to cold, allergies, polyps, and other factors. An out-of-control sinus infection may require surgery. Keep reading to know more about sinus surgery.
What Is Sinus Surgery?
Frontal sinuses: The frontal sinuses are divided into left and right frontal sinuses. The two sinuses are located at the centre of the forehead above each eye.
Sinus surgery is a surgical procedure wherein otolaryngologists, commonly referred to as ENT surgeons, clear blockages in the sinuses. Surgery may involve enlarging the openings between the interior of the nose and the sinuses to allow drainage and make way for air to enter. The ENT surgeon may also remove the infected tissues, polyps, or bones.
Modern-day sinus surgeries are less invasive and require shorter recovery periods. Surgeons typically insert a tube-like structure through the nostrils. The patient may receive local or general anaesthesia, and the surgery can last between an hour to three hours, depending on the surgery type.
When Is Sinus Surgery Necessary?
Sinuses may get inflamed due to bacterial infections. Sinus infections or sinusitis can be treated with medicines. A general physician may prescribe drugs to treat colds and allergies that effectively get rid of sinus infections. However, surgery may be required when the prescribed medications fail to treat the infection.
Infection can be found in the following pair of sinuses:
- Maxillary sinuses: These are the largest sinuses. They are positioned behind the cheekbones near the upper jaws.
- Frontal sinuses: The frontal sinuses are divided into left and right frontal sinuses. The two sinuses are located at the centre of the forehead above each eye.
- Sphenoid sinuses: Sphenoid sinuses are situated behind the eyes, near your optic nerve and pituitary gland.
- Ethmoid sinuses: The ethmoid sinuses are a collection of six to twelve small air pockets between the eyes and nasal bridge.
Following are the conditions that, when chronic, may require sinus operation:
Sinusitis: Sinusitis is commonly known as a sinus infection that involves swelling of the sinuses or nasal passages. Patients should check for the following symptoms.
- Stuffy nose
- Blocked ears
- Thick and unpleasant post-nasal drip
- Pain around the eyes, nose, cheeks, and forehead
Polyps: Polyps are teardrop-shaped swellings in the inside lining of the nasal passage and sinuses. Larger polyps may cause problems in breathing. Possible indications of polyps include:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Sleep apnea
- Reduced sense of smell
Types of Sinus Surgery
- Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) FESS uses a magnifying endoscope to view the sinuses and remove infected tissue or bone. The otolaryngologist makes small incisions inside the nose, enabling the surgeon to insert a small tube (endoscope). The tube is equipped with a camera and light for navigating the interior of the patient's nasal cavity. FESS results in reduced blockage and better drainage of the sinuses. The surgery also helps in flushing out the infected material and developing healthier tissues in the nose.
- Balloon Sinus Ostial Dilation Balloon Sinus Ostial dilation is a procedure wherein an ENT specialist inserts a flexible balloon catheter into the blocked sinus passage under endoscopic visualisation. Once the surgeon places the balloon in the proper position, the balloon is inflated gradually to open the sinus cavity. A saline solution is injected to flush out mucus or any pus. This procedure minimises trauma to the surrounding delicate tissues in the sinus passage. Once the fluid is drained, patients may experience instant relief.
Recovery After Sinus Operation
The ENT specialist may place a nasal packing in the patient's nose post-surgery. Nasal packing is an absorbable gauze inserted into the nasal passage to control bleeding. The gauze may dissolve over time, or the doctor may remove it manually.
The recovery time differs between people. However, a sinus operation generally causes little discomfort. Most sinus surgeries are outpatient procedures. Doctors typically prescribe pain medications for nasal congestion or fatigue. Frequent ENT visits are also necessary to clean blood or excess mucus and ensure the sinuses heal correctly.
NOSZEL Absorbable Hemostatic Gelatin Sponge is a nasal packing solution from Meril. It is a non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-immunogenic, and non-pyrogenic sponge. NOSZEL can absorb the blood equivalent of approximately 45 times its weight and is naturally reabsorbed by the body. Surgeons can soak the sponge in any medicine, and its haemostatic properties remain unaffected.
NOSZEL can be used in ENT surgery, tympanoplasty, myringoplasty, stapedotomy, or to keep the fascia in the middle ear intact during middle-ear implant surgery. The gelatin sponge reduces intraoperative bleeding and the overall surgery time