Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)

A minimally invasive procedure, the functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) involves a technique in which sinus air cells and sinus ostia are opened under direct visualization. This results in the restoration of sinus ventilation and normal function.

A majority of patients who suffer from chronic sinus infections don’t need this surgery. Medication and lifestyle changes are enough to manage the symptoms and keep sinus problems under control. However, in cases where the infection is persistent and regular medication and remedies do not work, then surgery is the best alternative.

Before committing to the big decision of having surgery, the patient must consider a series of essential questions like, how severe are their symptoms? What does a CT scan show? How is their general health?

Based on these answers, additional tests and special conditions taken into consideration, the patient and the doctor together can decide whether sinus surgery is the best option available or not. An honest and open relationship with the doctor can help the patient determine the best course of treatment.

Understanding the FESS Procedure

A fairly common procedure, Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) involves the surgeon using a magnifying endoscope to see and remove affected tissue and bone.

Before FESS became common in the medical field, surgeons used to cut directly into the outside of the face in order to find the problem and extract it. This led to a risk of infection and a longer recovery time. With FESS, the entire process became more precise and less invasive, thereby leading to open sinuses and quick restoration of health.

There are several sinus procedures that can be performed using FESS, which one the ENT doctor uses will be based on what is causing the problem. The general goal of sinus surgery is to flush out infected material, open up blocked passages, and keep enough healthy tissue so that your nose and sinuses can function normally.

The sinus surgery usually ends with the doctor using an innovative Hydrodebrider™ System. Designed to deliver a powered spray to “wash out” your sinuses, this device helps remove the bacteria associated with chronic sinus infections.

Upon completion of the procedure, a temporary nasal packing is placed on the patient’s nose to ensure support to the newly opened sinus passages and to absorb the excess fluid as tissues heal. A traditional nasal packing needs to be removed by the doctor post the surgery. However, there are newer versions of nasal packing available that eventually dissolvable and get absorbed into the body. Therefore, it doesn’t require physical removal by a doctor.

The recovery time of a patient depends on their overall health and the type of sinus surgery they had. Patients are commonly advised to stay away from work or school for at least several days after the surgery is performed. Our trained and experienced doctors can help patients with specific instructions on the best way to take care post-surgery and fully recover in the fastest way possible.

Benefits of FESS Surgery

FESS has many advantages over older, more traditional sinus surgery options. The main advantages include:

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Minimal Pain
  • No Outward Scarring Of Nose
  • Few Surgical Complications
  • Little Post-Surgical Bleeding
  • Less Tissue Removal