Sinus problems are extremely common, affecting between 250,000 and 300,000 people each year. Here are 5 types of sinus surgery, and how to successfully heal from each of them.
Chronic health problems related to sinus can disrupt the quality of your life. Reduced airflow, snoring, and sleep apnea are one of the most common symptoms of sinusitis. The first-line treatment involves prescription of antibiotics and allergy treatment.
However, some patients do not respond well to the treatment and require surgical measures. There are different types of sinus surgery available to correct a variety of issues. Each one is used to realign the structure, improve performance and get rid of sinus problems.
In this article, we will explore what is sinus surgery, the different types of sinus surgery procedures and how to heal from each one effectively.
Sinus Surgery – The Basics
For those of you who have been considering sinus surgery, it is essentially is a surgical procedure performed by an ENT surgeon to help you get relief from chronic sinus symptoms. The surgery is typically performed on patients who do not respond well to other treatment options. Sinus surgery conventionally involves opening up the pathways to improve the airflow.
Types of Sinus Surgery
Following are some of the types of sinus surgery procedures available to treat a myriad of sinus issues:
This type of sinus surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis and is done to correct the issues associated with the midline of the nose. During the procedure, the surgeon will restructure the septum. A septum is a partition that divides your nostrils and is made of bone as well as cartilage. If the septum is not in the right position due to an injury or a birth cavity, it can lead to breathing problems.
The procedure is ideal for people who struggle with chronic sinusitis and breathing troubles. Essentially, the surgeon will open the air passage while restructuring the septum.
2. Turbinate Reduction
If you are someone who struggles with infections, allergies, and irritation, chances are that the turbinates in your nose have become severely damaged. If not treated properly, it can lead to extreme nasal obstruction and mucus production.
There are a total of three turbinates in the nasal passage and their job is to help filter and warm up the air that we inhale. Turbinates have a bony structure. The goal of turbinate nasal surgery is to minimize the swelling that leads to easier and more comfortable breathing.
The surgeon uses a small, needle-like instrument to transmit the radio frequency to the tissue. As you heal, the turbinate reduces in size, making breathing easy. The surgery will not alter the shape and size of the nose by any means.
3. Functional Rhinoplasty
As soon as you hear the term rhinoplasty, the cosmetic nose job comes into mind. However, rhinoplasty is done for functional purposes also. It is typically performed by an ENT surgeon to remove any abnormalities within your nose that hinders breathing. The functional nose job corrects all the obstructions and allows for smooth and easy airflow into the lungs.
The ENT surgeon resculpts the bone and cartilage of the nose through a small incision. This type of sinus surgery also offers an obvious difference in the appearance of the nose. After surgery, rhinoplasty recovery will be needed to help you heal successfully and quickly.
4. Balloon Sinuplasty
It is a minimally invasive procedure with the simple goal of relieving chronic sinusitis symptoms. The procedure is pretty straightforward and involves the insertion of a balloon catheter into the nasal passage. With the help of a tiny flashlight, the surgeon will place the balloon at the right place, then it is inflated which helps to open the cavity and flushes out pus and mucus.
Immediately after the treatment, your sinus will clear up.
5. Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
It is certainly one of the most commonly performed types of sinus surgery procedures. The surgeon will use a magnifying endoscope to examine the area and remove the affected tissue/bone as required. It essentially opens the connection between the nose and the sinus, enabling you to breathe normally. It can be performed in combination with other sinus surgeries if required to achieve better results.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that any of these surgical options are not used as the first treatment against your breathing problems. Oftentimes, a doctor will suggest medication, antibiotics, and other non-surgical options to help relieve the symptoms. If none of it works, only then an ENT surgeon will proceed with one or a combination of the above-mentioned surgeries.
Recovery After Sinus Surgery
Regardless of which types of sinus surgery procedures you receive, sinus surgery recovery will be needed. Firstly, your surgeon will ask you to use a drip pad under your nose. It helps collects any mucus and blood that comes out of your nose within 24 hours’ time frame after the surgery. Most likely, you will have a bit of swelling on your nose, upper lip, and cheeks. Some people also have swollen eyes. Nothing to be worried about here, it is part of the healing process.
Moreover, for the first few days post-surgery, your nose will be numb and the sensation will return to normal in a couple of months. It is best to take a week off from work to recover and rest.
In about three to four weeks, your surgeon will call you in for a follow-up to ensure everything is functioning well. In the meanwhile; make sure to:
- Limit your activity level during the recovery phase. Avoid excessive exercise and heavy lifting.
- Get a ten-minute walk daily to get the blood flow going and avoid blood clots.
- Rest as much as you can. Sleep 8 hours a day as it will help your body heal.
- Use lukewarm water to shower or take a bath. Avoid using extremely cold or extremely hot water.
- Do not go swimming for at least 4 months post-surgery.
- Take at least 1 week off from work or more till you feel better to get back to the grind.
- Do not skip follow-up appointments.
- Use a cold compress to minimize swelling
- Make sure to take all the medications prescribed by your surgeon timely.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes proteins, fruits, veggies, and healthy carbs.
- Take care of your incisions properly as per the instructions given by your surgeon.
We hope you found this article insightful. Taking proper care of yourself after sinus surgery is crucial. Proper post-care is as important as the surgery itself. We hope you heal soon!