Treating Chronic Sinus Infections: Is surgery the answer?

Chronic Sinus Infections
Hammering facial pain and pressure. Nasal congestion. Thick postnasal drip. Coughing. Do you recognize these symptoms? They’re all signs of sinusitis. Acute sinusitis is often marked by a thick, green or yellow nasal discharge and can last up to four weeks or more. Most cases respond well to antibiotics and decongestants, and people can resume normal activities quickly. But what happens when sinusitis becomes chronic?

The Surgical Solution

Today, many chronic sinusitis sufferers are finding relief by undergoing a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure called functional endoscopic sinus surgery, or FESS. During this procedure, the surgeon inserts an endoscope through the nose into the sinuses, looking for structural abnormalities, cleaning and draining the sinuses and removing any obstructive growths, such as polyps or cysts. The surgery enlarges the natural openings of the sinuses and can restore the normal flow of mucus without leaving any visible scars.

Gaining Popularity

The physicians at Cornerstone Ear, Nose and Throat, PA, have seen tremendous growth in the number of FESS procedures performed in recent years, performing approximately 400 procedures a year.

“I’d estimate that up to 5 percent of the population would benefit from a nasal or sinus procedure because it often eliminates the need for prolonged decongestants, antibiotics and other medicines,” says William McClelland, MD. “Plus, resolving sinus problems can assist in treating other conditions like asthma or sleep apnea, which may also be occurring.”

Adding to the surgery’s appeal is the minimal recovery time and postoperative side effects. The physicians at Cornerstone Ear, Nose and Throat agree that nasal packing is rarely necessary in the post operative period and discomfort is generally mild. In fact, many patients have reported little need for pain medicine after the surgery.

William A. McClelland, MD, FACS - Board Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT)
About the Author
Otolaryngologist (ENT) at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat, PA
Dr. McClelland is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT) as well as the Founding Partner of CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat, PA. His particular clinical interest is minimally invasive sinus surgery.
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