Sinuses are small cavities inside a person’s skull that are situated round the eyes and nose of a person and in the front of the face. These cavities help to form the skull lighter in weight & also produce mucus that adds moisture to the nasal passages. The mucus provides a protective layer to assist exclude unwanted particles like pollutants, dirt, and infectious organisms.
Sinuses are lined with cilia, which are very fine hair-like cells that help to empty mucus through the passages of the sinuses and out into the nose. In this article. Dr. Pradeep who is working with a Vishakhapatnam based ENT hospital will discuss everything that you should know about sinus surgery.
What is sinus surgery?
Sinus surgery is basically a procedure that aims to open the pathways of the sinuses and clear blockages. This is often an option for people with abnormal sinus structure, for people with ongoing and recurrent sinus infections, or abnormal growths within the sinus.
A specialist will often try to use other possible treatments and procedures before opting for a surgery. If these don’t work, surgery is considered to be the last option. Sinus surgery do not cause much discomfort. It’s a quick procedure that has less complications.
Reasons for sinus surgery
The goal of the surgery is to get rid of whatever is obstructing the drainage pathways of the sinuses. this might include removing:
- thin pieces of bone
- mucous membranes
- nasal polyps
- swollen or damaged tissue
- tumors blocking the sinus passage
A person may require sinus surgery to treat a spread of issues. Common reasons include sinusitis and nasal polyps.
Sinusitis is that the swelling of the nasal sinuses or passages. It’s sometimes called a sinus infection. An individual with sinusitis may have the subsequent symptoms:
- pressure round the nose, eyes, or forehead
- a stuffy nose
- thick and discolored nasal drainage
- a cough
- head congestion and headaches
- bad-tasting post-nasal drip
- blocked ears or changes in hearing
Nasal polyps are usually the swellings of the nasal lining inside the nasal passages and sinuses. They will vary in size but are usually teardropshaped. Larger polyps or clusters may cause breathing issues and may affect someone’s sense of smell. They will also block a person’s sinuses resulting in infections.
Most of the people do not experience any severe symptoms from nasal polyps. However, common ones include:
- a blocked nose, resulting in difficulty breathing
- a runny nose
- recurrent sinus infections
- post-nasal drip
- a reduced sense of smell or taste
- facial pain
- sleep apnea
Sinus surgery can also be required thanks to other infections, ongoing blockages, abnormal growths, and other issues that cause inflammation within the nasal passages and sinuses.
The complications which will occur during sinus surgery are mostly rare and include the following:
Bleeding after surgery tends to happen within the primary 24 hours. However, it can sometimes occur later, after days or maybe weeks. If a clot develops within the bony partition between the nasal passages, commonly called the septum, then it must be removed as soon as possible to eliminate the threat of infection.
The septum attaches to the roof of the nose which is a thin layer of bone. It could also be damaged during sinus surgery. However, this is often a really rare complication. Brain fluid can leak into the nose and, in severe cases, can cause an infection within the lining of the brain like meningitis. While this issue is extremely rare, it’s often identified and managed while the initial surgery is happening.
Damage to the surrounding tissue
As the sinuses are so on the brink of the eyes, bleeding can sometimes occur into the eyes. This happens when the skinny layer of bone that separates the sinus from the eye is broken. This is often rare and, again, is typically spotted and treated while the surgery is happening. In extremely rare instances, visual loss and blindness are reported. There have also been rare reports of injury to the muscles that move the eyes, which may cause temporary or permanent diplopia. Other instances may cause a change in how the tear ducts work, causing excessive tearing.
Changes to a person’s voice
Sinuses affect the resonance of a person’s voice. A complication of sinus surgery can sometimes cause a change in someone’s voice.
Loss of smell or taste
After sinus surgery, a person’s sense of smell usually improves thanks to the airflow being restored. However, it can worsen in rare cases based on the extent of swelling or infection. This is often often temporary but can be prolonged in rare cases.
Dealing with sinus infections is that the main reason why sinus surgery is completed. An individual with sinusitis can develop other infections in this area as a results of surgery. However, this complication is also possible if an individual doesn’t undergo surgery for a long-term sinus infection.
Sinus surgery usually improves airflow. However, in rare cases, surgery can worsen this. Small amounts of connective tissue can also build up within the nasal passage which will require another procedure to get rid of.