Chronic sinusitis – Chronic sinusitis refers to inflammation of the lining of the sinuses typically present for more than 12 weeks. Patients with chronic sinusitis may have problems with recurrent sinus infections and may also have issues with symptoms of facial pain/pressure, headache, stuffiness, nasal drainage, or diminished sense of smell. Your doctor may recommend a CT scan of the sinuses to help make a diagnosis.
Deviated septum – The septum is the structure that divides the right side of the nose from the left. It is made of cartilage and bone, and is covered by nasal mucous membrane. Deviation refers to bowing of the septum to one side or the other, and can sometimes lead to a feeling of blockage in the nose. Some people are born with deviations of the septum. Trauma to the nose is sometimes a contributing factor. Some people may require surgery to straighten the septum.
Nasal polyps – Nasal polyps are abnormal growths of the lining of the nose which can expand to fill the nasal passage and/or block drainage of the sinuses. Many patients with polyps also have nasal allergies. Symptoms typically include a blocked sensation in the nose and often decreased sense of smell. Small polyps may not cause any noticeable symptoms. Treatment can include a combination of steroids (steroid nose spray and/or pills) and sometimes surgery to remove the polyps.
Common Surgical Procedures
Endoscopic sinus surgery – Endoscopic sinus surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia in an operating room, and involves the use of small telescopes and surgical instruments placed through the nose. The normal sinus openings are widened, and partitions separating certain sinuses are taken down. Most patients go home the same day of surgery.
Balloon sinuplasty – Balloon sinuplasty is a newer technique which involves the use of small catheters and balloons (similar to those used to open blocked blood vessels in an angioplasty procedure) to widen the openings of the sinuses. Your doctor will advise you if you are a candidate for this procedure.
Septoplasty – Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to straighten the nasal septum. It is usually performed under general anesthesia with patients going home the same day. Often splints are left in the nose for about one week.