Do I Need Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)?
About 30 million people in the US suffer from chronic nasal congestion, drainage, fatigue, headache, pain, pressure, sneezing and headaches from chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) annually. CRS symptoms can lead to substantial physical and emotional impairments which lower quality of life.
When you’re suffering from persistent inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses from CRS, even though you’ve tried antibiotics, oral steroids, topical nasal sprays, medications, or anti-allergy treatments, FESS can help you find relief and significantly improve your quality of life.
What is Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)?
FESS is a type of nasal surgery that uses a nasal telescope to evaluate and treat rhinosinusitis. The telescope provides a view of the structures inside the nose and sinuses. Surgery can be performed in a hospital or surgery center.
What Does FESS Treat?
FESS treats chronic inflammation in your nose and sinuses that's causing problems such as postnasal drip, nasal obstruction, and facial congestion. FESS can also effectively treat a deviated septum, nasal polyps, and enlarged nasal turbinates (three pairs of long, thin bones covered with nasal tissue).
Why Would You Need FESS?
If you’re experiencing thickening and swelling of the sinus linings in your face and forehead region that are causing congestion, drainage, post-nasal drip, impaired sense of smell, and headaches or facial pain, relief is possible by undergoing a FESS procedure.
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is performed in a hospital or surgery center setting. Also, FESS can be performed in the office for certain patients. General/local anesthesia will be given so you’ll experience no pain during the FESS procedure.
Next, your doctor inserts an endoscope, a fine tube with a high-definition camera attached, into the nostril that gives the doctor an excellent view. No facial incisions are made. Problem areas within your nose are closely examined and carefully treated via specialized tools.
Typically, the treated area is on the sidewall of the nose where many of your sinuses drain. Your doctor may remove a small amount of bone there to improve ventilation and drainage. It’s common for many people to have anatomical variations in this area of the nose that make them prone to sinus disease. If this is the case for you, these variations can be corrected during surgery. In more extensive sinus disease, other areas of the sinuses may need surgery as well.
If needed, your doctor may then place a device in the sinus called the Propel sinus implant. The spring-like Propel implant supports the sinus to keep the surgical area open, and slowly delivers an anti-inflammatory low dose of cortisone medication directly to the sinus lining. Propel then dissolves within about four weeks, so it doesn’t have to be removed later on. The implant helps prevent scar formation or polyp regrowth. This procedure is usually combined with balloon sinuplasty, in what’s called a hybrid procedure.
The Benefits of FESS
FESS has high success rates for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis:
- 80-90% for adults
- 86-97% for children
FESS also offers other important benefits, such as:
- Nasal obstruction and facial pain are often relieved
- Healthy tissue is not affected, therefore healing is quicker and outcomes are better
- Minimal bleeding and scarring
- Eliminates the need for traditional external incisions
- Quick procedure that delivers better results than most types of surgery
- Increased quality of life after undergoing surgery.
Lakeside Allergy ENT has board-certified otolaryngologists specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of all ear, nose, and throat problems, including sinusitis for which you may need surgical treatment. If you’re dealing with chronic sinusitis and you want to learn more about functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), call our office at 972-771-5443 or get started by requesting an appointment today.