Q. When is sinus surgery necessary?
A. Mucus is developed by the body to act as a lubricant. In the sinus cavities, the lubricant is moved across mucous membrane linings toward the opening of each sinus by millions of cilia (a mobile extension of a cell). Inflammation from allergy causes membrane swelling and the sinus opening to narrow, thereby blocking mucus movement. If antibiotics are not effective, sinus surgery can correct the problem.
Q. What does the surgical procedure entail?
A. The basic endoscopic surgical procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia. The patient returns to normal activities within four days; full recovery takes about four weeks.
Q. What does sinus surgery accomplish?
A. The surgery should enlarge the natural opening to the sinuses, leaving as many cilia in place as possible. Otolaryngologist--head and neck surgeons have found endoscopic surgery to be highly effective in restoring normal function to the sinuses. The procedure removes areas of obstruction, resulting in the normal flow of mucus.
Q. What are the consequences of not treating infected sinuses?
A. Not seeking treatment for sinusitis will result in unnecessary pain and discomfort. In rare circumstances, meningitis or brain abscess and infection of the bone or bone marrow can occur.
Q. Where should sinus pain sufferers seek treatment?
A. If you suffer from severe sinus pain, you should seek treatment from an otolaryngologist--head and neck surgeon, a specialist who can treat your condition with medical and/or surgical remedies.