This condition interferes with drainage and ventilation causing mucus buildup, inflammation and infection. The most frequent symptoms are: nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty in breathing through the nose; discharge from the nose or drainage down the back of the throat; pain and tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead; reduced sense of smell and taste in adults or cough in children.
Chronic sinusitis is a chronic inflammation of the sinuses that can occur in patient with or without allergies. It can therefore be brought on by allergies, an infection, by growths in the sinuses (nasal polyps) or by a deviated nasal septum. The inferior turbinates are breathing structures inside the nose, that can become inflamed and responsible for long term nose problems. The condition most commonly affects young and middle-aged adults, but it can also affect children.
It is important to schedule an appointment with an ENT specialist if: you've had various episodes of sinusitis; you have symptoms of sinusitis that last more than seven days; your symptoms don't improve after you see your doctor; if symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks.
Currently, there are three options available for the treatment of chronic sinusitis: medication therapy, conventional endoscopic sinus surgery and balloon sinus dilation.
We will always attempt medication therapy first to treat sinusitis. This therapy is directed toward controlling predisposing factors, treating concomitant infections, reducing edema and facilitating the drainage of sinus secretions. What is normally prescribed is nasal saline irrigation, topic and systemic steroids and, in some cases, antibiotics. If this fails to completely restore sinus function and control of the symptoms, patient might be referred for surgery. Patients with acute sinusitis complications may also need urgent sinus surgery.
Our team is dedicated to the nose and sinus treatment/surgery, including septoplasty, turbinoplasty, all sinus surgery procedures and rhinoplasty (nose job).
As we offer various types of surgical procedures, all options available can all be discussed with your doctor. Recently we introduced a new surgical concept, the Balloon Sinus Dilation (BSD), a cutting-edge surgical procedure indicated for the treatment of chronic sinusitis non-responsive to medical treatment.
The procedure has its origins on the long-term use of balloon dilations in the cardiovascular area for the treatment of coronary disease, in acute myocardial infarction and chronic heart disease. Much like angioplasty is used to open coronary arteries and avoid heart surgery, BSD offers patients suffering from chronic sinusitis the possibility of complete preservation and restoration of the sinus anatomy.
The procedure can be done under local anesthesia, in doctor´s office or operating room. Some patients are only eligible for procedures done under general anesthesia.
The BSD is performed with the use of an endoscope where the image is transmitted onto a monitor. Prior to the procedure, local anesthesia is administered using a sponge inside the nose and, if necessary, a small injection. The specialist will then introduce the balloon in the ostium of the sinus. The insufflation of the balloon will cause some pressure, but no pain. This takes about 5 seconds. With the use of the endoscope e the doctor confirms that the sinus is open and with a small vacuum clears all the chronic infection/inflammation.
Most sinus-related surgical cases can be approached by conventional Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS). Although FESS is an excellent surgical technique for the treatment of chronic sinusitis, it has some risks and post-operatively discomfort that can be avoided with balloon sinus dilation. Furthermore, some patient can be operated in our outpatient’s clinic. This means that you can be operated under local anesthesia and be back to your normal daily activities in under 24 hours. Of course, not all patients can be treated in this fashion. Determining whether you are an appropriate candidate for balloon sinus dilation will require a medical examination and evaluation by an ENT Specialist.
Dr. Luis Dores
Functional Nose Surgery
HPA Health Group