Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is appropriate for some chronic sinusitis sufferers. The goal of this procedure is to improve sinus drainage by enlarging the drainage pathways. This is most often achieved by removing nasal structures and expanding the openings of the sinuses.
At the same time, the surgeon works to preserve the lining of the sinus, called mucosa, as it plays an important role in drainage. Balloon sinus dilation, in addition to being a stand-alone procedure, can be used in combination with FESS.
Risks and alternatives
Traditional sinus surgery is performed under general anesthesia in an operating room or at a surgical center. There are a number of potential risks, such as excessive bleeding, cerebrospinal fluid leak, intraorbital complications, and a failure to resolve sinus conditions.1
Some experiences typical of traditional sinus surgery recovery include nasal packing to control bleeding and frequent irrigation of nasal cavities to avoid crusting.
For some patients, balloon sinus dilation may be a less invasive and effective alternative to FESS. With this in-office procedure, a small balloon is used to reshape the sinus and nasal drainage pathway anatomy, delivering instant relief that lasts. Plus, balloon sinus dilation patients return to normal activity, on average, 70% faster than traditional sinus surgery patients.2