If you suffer from chronic sinusitis or repeated episodes of acute sinusitis then you may require sinus surgery to improve drainage through the sinuses. Removing blockages or enlarging the drainage pathway will usually solve the problem. However, sinus surgery is generally only performed once other treatment options, such as medication, have been explored.
Sinus surgery was previously performed through external incisions, but is now typically performed endoscopically, through the nasal passages. Mr Julian Hamann uses an endoscope (a thin telescope) that allows him to see the internal structures of the nose and sinuses in great detail.
What are the advantages of endoscopic sinus surgery?
Nasal “packing” is often required following traditional sinus surgery. Cotton or gauze packs are inserted into the nasal chambers to control bleeding and to support the septum. This can cause a great deal of discomfort. When undertaking endoscopic sinus surgery Julian Hamann rarely uses nasal packing. The recovery process tends to be quicker and less uncomfortable. The risks of surgery are also reduced, due to the improved view provided by the endoscope.
How is endoscopic sinus surgery performed?
Mr Julian Hamann will perform sinus surgery under either local or general anaesthetic, depending on the complexity of the procedure. A thin telescopic tube (endoscope) is inserted into the nasal passages allowing visualisation of the sinuses. Highly specialised instruments are then used to remove any blockages. For more information on Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, click here.
What is the recovery process like after endoscopic sinus surgery?
The speed of recovery depends on the individual and the extent of the procedure. However, an endoscopic procedure involves considerably less discomfort than traditional sinus surgery, and can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Following routine sinus surgery, it is not uncommon for the nose to be blocked for two or three weeks.
If necessary, Mr Julian Hamann will prescribe steroid drops or antibiotics after the procedure. He will also advise you on how best to manage the recovery process, including any activities you should refrain from.
Are there any risks or complications associated with endoscopic sinus surgery?
Complications are unusual following endoscopic sinus surgery. Possible complications include: infections or excessive bleeding. Due to the position of the sinuses, there is also a very small risk of damage to the structure of the eye or leakage of the fluid the brain is bathed in (CSF leak). Mr Julian Hamann will fully explain all potential risks and complications during your consultation.
Occasionally, sinus surgery will not resolve the problem completely and further procedures may be required.