Since the 1950s there have been several major advancements made in the sinus surgery industry. Starting with the introduction of the Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), the technology and techniques used to relieve sinus pain have continued to improve over time. Today, there are a number of different options available to those who suffer from recurring sinus infections that are resistant to standard medications.
FESS & Image Guided Surgery
The most common form of sinus surgery involves using an endoscope through the nasal cavity to open up the passageways below the eye for better drainage. The FESS surgery is typically done as an outpatient procedure and has very few side effects. It is also a simpler, but more generalized approach to sinus relief when compared to the newer Image Guided surgery options.
Image Guided surgery is a more detailed form of the FESS, which uses infrared signals and CT scans to get a more accurate picture of the sinus cavities in real time. This allows doctors to precisely target areas of concern while minimizing risk to arteries and other tissues that don’t need to be removed. The advancements made in camera and telescopic technologies have allowed Image Guided surgery to become one of the most effective sinus surgery solutions on the market.
These types of sinus surgeries are usually the last resort after a patient has struggled with repeated and worsening sinusitis over time, but can also be an effective measure for those who have had tumors or polyps removed from their sinuses as well. In addition, the proximity of the sinus cavities to the optic nerves and major arteries means that sinus surgery can be helpful for those seeking optic nerve decompression and other related services.
In some cases, a malignancy or abnormality in the sinus passages may prevent normal drainage from taking place, while also making it impossible to successfully perform an FESS or Image Guided Surgery. In these cases, the Caldwell-Luc method was developed, which allows doctors to enter through the upper jaw and create a new passage between the maxillary sinus passage and the nose. This will allow for better drainage while still maintaining minimal side effects and recovery time.
Balloon Sinuplasty is the newest procedure in the sinus surgery world, offering patients the same sinus relief without any cutting or removal of sinus tissues. Instead, this method uses a small catheter and balloon that is inserted into the sinus cavity and inflated. As the balloon expands, it pushes the walls of the sinus cavity open and restructures them with a wider opening, without damaging the integrity of the lining of the sinus cavity.
After the opening is secured, a saline solution is used to flush out the buildup of mucus.The Honrubia technique goes one step further and uses full anesthesia to perform balloon sinuplasty on all sinus cavities in a single sitting, rather than performing multiple procedures over the course of several appointments. This method has faster and more complete results than any other type of balloon sinuplasty.
One of the biggest advantages of balloon sinuplasty is that it is far less invasive than traditional sinus surgeries, and can be performed in a regular office setting under a local anesthetic. It has been shown to have the same long-term success rate as the FESS surgery, and does not require ongoing treatment. However, the effectiveness of this method is limited, and may not be the answer for those suffering from facial trauma, cystic fibrosis or other severe illnesses.
As technology continues to improve, doctors are testing more effective and efficient methods of treating chronic sinusitis. Currently, patients are able to choose between an endoscopic procedure which removes sinus tissue, or balloon sinuplasty which compacts the sinus tissue and widens the passages. These are both effective outpatient procedures with low risk and positive results. For more complicated cases, the Caldwell-Luc method is available. It creates a new passageway, working around obstructions or malignant areas of the sinus.
If you have any questions about sinus surgery options, we invite you to contact the American Sinus Institute for more information. We recommend and specialize in the Honrubia technique for balloon sinuplasty.