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Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is the most common type of surgery for chronic sinus inflammation. FESS is performed using a small rigid endoscope inserted through patient's nostril to open the natural ventilation and drainage areas of sinuses. (An endoscope is a tube with a camera and light at the end) This relieves sinus pressure pain and headache as well as congestion, improves nasal breathing, removes polyps or other growth in the nose when present, and often enhances sense of smell and taste. FESS is minimally invasive, which means that it is done without an open skin incision and is much less invasive than older surgery methods.

Serious complications are very rare with FESS, but not risk-free. It is critical to have a CT scan of your nose and sinus structures before your surgery, since nose and sinus anatomy varies somewhat from person to person.

Overall, FESS has improved the sinus surgery, thus sinus symptoms in 90 percent of patients, because it offers the following advantages:

  • Minimally invasive
  • Shorter recovery times
  • Reduced risk of infection and bleeding
  • Less scarring
  • Decreased postoperative pain

Even though FESS has an excellent chance of improving your symptoms, you still may need ongoing medical therapy to control underlying causes of inflammation, depending on the original reason for your sinus surgery.

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