According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29.4 million adults suffer from diagnosed sinusitis in the United States, which is 12.1% of the adult population. Chronic sinusitis and related conditions are a major medical issue in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
The annual cost of this condition is over $4.3 billion. Surgical treatment of sinus disease is increasing at a current rate of roughly 800,000 cases per year in the US.
Treatment Options for Sinusitis
Two types of sinus infections exist – acute, or short-term, and chronic, or long-term. Acute sinus infections appear and then vanish in a few days or weeks. Chronic sinus infections, on the other hand, keep coming back or continue for months. In most cases, acute sinus infections can be medically treated. Medication can also help people with chronic sinus infections, in some cases. However, if these treatments fail to work for you, you may need sinus surgery.
Your doctor will generally recommend surgery only after finding that your symptoms are not being relieved by other available treatment options.
Your doctor may suggest a specific type of sinus surgery, depending on your particular condition. Three of the most common types of sinus surgery are:
- Ethmoidectomy: This type of sinus surgery helps in clearing the sinuses that are located between the bridge of your nose and your eyes.
- Maxillary antrostomy: With this type, the sinuses located behind your cheekbones are surgically altered to drain more effectively.
- Powered septoplasty with turbinoplasty: This type of sinus surgery helps in clearing up breathing problems that are caused by enlarged turbinates in your nose, or a crooked or deviated nasal septum.
You should discuss the best surgical option to treat your sinusitis with your doctor. With the right surgery, you can be free of sinus problems and breathe more easily.
Endoscopic Surgery and Potential Complications
Non-invasive, endoscopic sinus surgery is a common procedure used for the treatment of sinus infections. In this procedure, the surgeon uses an endoscope (a small telescope) – along with a number of other surgical instruments, like knives, scissors, curettes, microdebriders, etc. – to clear the airway of the sinus patient.
As with any surgery, endoscopic surgery comes with potential complications, which include the following:
- Damage to surrounding organs – such as bruising around the eyes
- Brain injury
- Impaired sense of smell or taste
- Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid
- Post-surgical infections
Your doctor should discuss the potential complications of this type of sinus surgery with you before performing the procedure. You should keep in mind that while surgery may be the right option for some patients, the risk for complications might be higher in other patients, depending on their medical history and their unique anatomy.
At Joshua P. Light MD, we have the skills and expertise to help you resolve your sinus issues. Dr. Light is a double board-certified physician with years of experience in sleep medicine, as well as otolaryngology.
The clinic offers specialized services, such as balloon sinus dilation, treatment for otology, neurotology and hearing loss. Call us to schedule a free consultation. Our number is 561-737-8584, and we hope to schedule an appointment with you soon. You have nothing to lose!