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Do You Need Sinus Surgery?

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These Three Findings Indicate You May Need Sinus Surgery

Greg Davis, MD specializes in sinus surgery in Seattle, WA, and rhinology in Seattle, WA. Deciding on sinus surgery can be challenging for any number of reasons.

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Surgical procedures, in general, are an emotional and financial undertaking. Yet, in many circumstances, choosing surgery might be the difference-making decision that vastly improves your long-term quality of life.


Often, undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery in Seattle, WA, offers a viable solution when medicines don’t alleviate sinus symptoms. For instance, a successful sinus surgery improves sinus drainage by widening the sinus openings.


It’s then worth mentioning that patients experiencing sinus blockage stemming from anatomy-related issues benefit significantly from functional endoscopic sinus surgery in which the sinus tracts are precisely opened to encourage the natural flow of mucus.


Also, there are often additional triggers for sinus lining inflammation–and patients suffering from these issues see improvements after endoscopic sinus surgery.


Such procedures enlarge the sinus openings, allowing deeper medicine penetration while reducing swelling.

With these benefits in mind, we’ll now delve into symptoms indicating that sinus surgery in Seattle, WA, could be your most ideal option:


1. Chronic Rhinosinusitis

You likely have heard the terms “sinusitis,” “sinus infection,” and “rhinosinusitis.” All of these fall under the same umbrella.


While these terms are all common in the mainstream, diagnosing sinusitis is rife with complexities. Factors to weigh are as follows:


●      Symptoms of a patient

●      Symptom duration

●      Findings of examinations

●      Testing results (if necessary)

The most common symptoms of sinusitis are nasal congestion/obstruction, decreased taste/smell, thick/discolored drainage, and facial fullness or discomfort.


Less common symptoms of sinusitis include ear pressure, headache, fatigue, bad breath, upper tooth pain, and fever.

Be mindful that these symptoms overlap with other sinus and nasal issues. Thus, the combination and timing of symptoms will dictate whether you’re suffering from sinusitis–as do diagnostic tests.


Rhinosinusitis is often diagnosed as chronic after you’ve had symptoms last for over 3 months. Symptoms can intensify and decrease throughout this period, but they’re always present. Confirming this issue requires an ENT physician to perform a nasal endoscopy or obtain a CT scan of the sinuses.


Chronic sinusitis can include inflammation, infection, and nasal polyps. Chronic sinusitis can also be accompanied by asthma.


It’s difficult to pin down one primary cause of chronic sinusitis. While infection being a root cause is rare, it can occasionally be a catalyst. Plus, allergies and irritants appear to play a role.

2. Nasal Polyps

Sinus surgery in Seattle, WA, could be the best available option for you if you suffer from nasal polyps.


Understanding this condition begins with an awareness of the four pairs of paranasal sinuses found in the facial bones between the brain and eye (both are air-filled cavities). During sinus lining inflammation (as experienced during chronic rhinosinusitis), the resulting swelling can form a grape-like blockage in the sinus called a polyp.

Unlike colon polyps, nasal polyps aren’t cancerous. Still, they frequently cause facial pain/pressure, nasal congestion, and loss of smell. Other potential symptoms include nasal drainage, difficulty sleeping, poor quality of life, and coughing.


Doctors often perform a nasal endoscopy or order a CT scan when they suspect polyps. Doing so gives them a clear look inside the nose.


At first, expect to receive treatments such as saline rinses, oral steroids, nasal steroid spray, corticosteroids, or antibiotics to relieve symptoms. Provided those treatments don’t manage the issue, doctors often prescribe topical medicated therapies such as steroid rinses or Xhance nasal spray. In addition, biologic medications targeting the source of inflammation, such as dupilumab and mepolizumab, may also be recommended.


Endoscopic sinus surgery is presented as an option when the nasal polyps are extensive, concerning, or not controlled by medications.

3. Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leak

Another situation where you might need to speak with a rhinologist in Seattle, WA, is when dealing with a CSF leak of the nose.


The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that usually surrounds the brain will begin leaking if there is a tear or hole in the brain lining.


You likely have heard the terms “sinusitis,” “sinus infection,” and “rhinosinusitis.” All of these fall under the same umbrella.


While these terms are all common in the mainstream, diagnosing sinusitis is rife with complexities. Factors to weigh are as follows:


●      Symptoms of a patient

●      Symptom duration

●      Findings of examinations

●      Testing results (if necessary)

Most CSF leaks result from penetrating and closed-head trauma. This leaking from the nose can occur immediately (occurring within 48 hours) or delayed. The majority of CSF leaks are immediate. Ninety-five percent (95%) of those suffering from delayed leakage show symptoms within 3 months after experiencing the injury.


Given the rarity of CSF leaks, they can be incorrectly diagnosed as sinusitis or migraines.


An accurate diagnosis of a CSF leak of the nose typically requires your ENT doctor to perform an endoscopic exam. You might also be asked to collect the fluid draining from your nose. Once gathered, this fluid will be sent for special testing.


CT scans and MRI scans are two other diagnostic methods.


While bed rest can help improve CSF leaks, the condition might require a skull base repair. Endoscopic repairs directly through your nose often successfully treat CSF leaks from your nose. More invasive procedures are only necessary when other approaches aren’t successful.


Surgeries for CSF leaks use layered tissue with grafts and flaps made from fat, mucosa, or muscle to repair the leaks.

Should You Consider Sinus Surgery in Seattle, WA If You Suffer From Sinus Headaches?

Many blogs might tell you that headaches commonly stem from sinusitis–but that’s a misconception. Still, sinus headaches and their related symptoms could hint at more severe sinus conditions such as mucoceles, invasive sinus infections, and even sinus tumors.

Click here to read more about how most sinus headaches may actually be migraines.

The Advantages Of Modern Sinus Surgery

Are you considering sinus surgery in Seattle, WA, or are you investigating a rhinologist in Seattle, WA?


If so, it’s valuable to learn about the procedures you might have to undergo. This knowledge can help alleviate some of your anxieties.


Sinus surgery has evolved in many ways throughout the past few decades. Previously, external incisions were needed to perform the procedure. Typically, this would call for a significant amount of nasal packing (i.e., material–like gauze–placed in the nose to control post-surgery bleeding).


While the results would be positive, those positives only came after a lengthy recovery period and substantial pain and discomfort.

Today’s technological advancements allow surgeons to perform the procedure solely through the nose. Face or mouth-based incisions are a rarity.

The nasal endoscope is a critical innovation enabling these less invasive, more patient-friendly procedures. Once placed into the nostril, this tiny, lighted metal telescope lets the surgeon get a clear view inside the nose and sinuses.


As a result of these advancements, modern sinus surgery has minimal nasal packing, lessened recovery times, and only minor pain.


Types Of Sinus Surgery

Below is a list of the types of sinus surgery:


●      Frontal sinusotomy

●      Sphenoidotomy

●      Maxillary sinus (maxillary sinus antrostomy)

●      Ethmoid sinus (ethmoidectomy)

Additionally, expanded sinus-based procedures include:


●      Expanded frontal sinus surgery

●      Endoscopic medial maxillectomy

These surgeries are all based on location in the sinus area.


Beyond the above location-based surgery types, there’s revision sinus surgery. This procedure typically requires additional expertise (e.g., receiving treatment from a rhinologist in Seattle, WA).


Revision-based sinus procedures are necessary when symptoms return after a period or persist regardless of the surgery.


Surgeons remove sinus cavity obstructions missed in the initial procedure during revision surgeries, offering more lasting relief. These procedures might also remove scar tissue resulting from continual sinus infections.

Are There Any Other Treatments You Should Consider Before Receiving Sinus Surgery?

While sinus surgery is far less invasive than it used to be, it’s still not the first solution medical professionals will present.


Over-the-counter medicines and prescription treatments are both options. Antibiotics are primarily used for sinus infections. Additionally, nasal saline rinses or sprays can provide relief.


Furthermore, nasal corticosteroid sprays–can treat stuffiness in the nasal cavity.


Be aware of nasal decongestant spray, which shouldn’t be used for more than three days because extended usage can intensify symptoms. Multiple side effects also result from these decongestants. Thus, patients must consult with doctors or pharmacists about using these sprays.


Inflammation or infection of the sinus lasting over four weeks is more of a chronic illness. In these instances, treatments will likely change, and antibiotic treatment periods will last over the usual 10 to 14 days.


Another alternative is taking a sinus culture to help select the most ideal antibiotic for your sinuses. Steroids taken by oral means and steroid nasal sprays can neutralize inflammation.


Provided allergies are at play, your physician might give you a prescription for allergy medication. Your physician could also order a CT scan to better look at your sinuses.


Only once it’s apparent that these treatments aren’t working will surgery be considered as a potential solution.

Dr. Davis treats all his patients with the utmost care, respect, and kindness.

Contact Greg Davis, MD, If You’re Considering Sinus Surgery In Seattle, WA.

Technologies and procedures are far more advanced for sinus surgery than they were decades ago.

All the same, sinus surgery is a serious procedure that requires the surest, most expert of hands. By contacting Greg Davis, MD, Sinus Surgery Center today, you’ll benefit from that high level of expertise–and the resulting peace of mind.

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