Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is typically an outpatient procedure aimed at opening the sinus drainage pathways. It’s a potential option when sinusitis persists or doesn’t adequately respond to other treatments such as medication.

If medication and procedures are ineffective at treating your recurring sinusitis, an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) may decide that surgery is the appropriate treatment. The surgery enlarges the openings that allow your sinuses to drain. This decision is only made after a careful diagnostic workup that includes:

  • A computed tomography (CT) scan of the sinuses
  • Nasal physiology testing
  • Smell testing
  • Select blood tests

This string of information will help your doctor determine the ideal operative strategy so you can recuperate with minimal pain and complications.

Treatment Options

Depending on the severity of your sinusitis, a specialist may choose one of three surgical options:


Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is a lightly invasive procedure that aims to open the sinuses’ natural pathways. During FESS, the surgeon will insert a very thin fiber-optic tube into the patient’s nose. Using micro-telescopes and state-of-the-art surgical instruments, the surgeon will then remove any abnormal or obstructive tissue found in the sinus cavity. Clearing the sinuses’ natural pathways will give diseased mucosa a chance to return to normal, and infection should dissipate soon after.

The key advantage of FESS is convenience. The procedure is often performed on an outpatient basis, patients experience very little discomfort after surgery, and recovery time is usually minimal.


Image-Guided Surgery

Image-guided surgery is prescribed when a patient is suffering from especially severe sinusitis, or when prior sinus surgeries have altered the sinus cavities. Using computed tomography (CT) scans and real-time infrared locational mapping with surgical instruments, the surgeon is able to create a detailed, nearly three-dimensional map of the sinuses.

With this information, the surgeon is able to provide precise, rapid surgical relief, even when operating on especially complex sinus passages. Increased surgical precision leads to fewer complications and decreased postsurgical pain for the patient.


Caldwell-Luc Operation

The Caldwell-Luc operation involves entering the maxillary sinus (a cavity beneath the eye) through the upper jaw. From there, the surgeon creates a passage to connect the maxillary sinus to the nose, improving drainage and relieving pressure.

While an undeniably effective treatment, the Caldwell-Luc operation is more invasive than either of the other two options here. It requires the greatest recovery time, and patients may experience considerable discomfort following the procedure. This is why the Caldwell-Luc operation is frequently recommended when evidence of cancer is discovered within or next to a patient’s maxillary sinus. The drainage this procedure creates can make it much easier to find and remove burgeoning tumors.


Sinus Irrigation

Sinus irrigation is a simple procedure to reduce bacterial load in the nasal sinuses by flushing with saline solution or an antibiotic mixture. Ideally, it is combined with a procedure to improve sinus ventilation. This procedure is designed to expedite resolution of a sinus infection and decrease the need for prolonged antibiotic treatment.


Propel Sinus Implant

PROPEL is the clinically proven way to improve the healing process after sinus surgery.

Following your sinus surgery, the Propel Implant can safely be placed to promote effective healing. PROPEL decreases the likelihood of developing scarring and inflammation. You may also find that you do not need to rely on oral steroids, which eliminates your chances of experiencing their potential side effects. Propel also reduces your chances of needing additional surgeries.

How Does Propel Work?
Propel is a spring-like implant, that is placed by your doctor following your sinus surgery or procedure. It works by opening the ethmoid sinus to maintain the surgical opening while delivering an anti-inflammatory medication directly to the site. The PROPEL implant will safely dissolve over time, so you will not need to have it removed.

How Can You Get Propel?
Talk with our ENT specialists today to learn more about how Propel works and if it’s right for you. Contact Apex ENT today.