Endoscopic sinus surgery may be done under local or general anesthesia. Local anesthesia involves numbing the nasal/sinus cavity, but the patient remains awake or lightly sedated. General anesthesia means that the patient goes to sleep with anesthesia for the surgery.
Endoscopic sinus surgery involves the use of a small telescope (nasal endoscope) that is inserted through the nostril to view your nose and sinuses. The goal of the surgery is to identify the narrow channels that connect the sinuses to the nose, enlarge these narrow openings/channels, and improve the drainage from the sinuses into the nose. Most people have four sinuses on each side of their face, for a total of eight sinuses.
These are the maxillary, ethmoid, sphenoid, and frontal sinuses. The maxillary sinuses are in your cheek, the ethmoid sinuses are between your eyes, the sphenoid sinuses are almost exactly in the center of your head, and the frontal sinuses are in your forehead. It is possible that you may not have all of these sinuses due to differences from person to person, or they may have already been opened by previous surgery. Sinusitis may affect some or all of your sinuses. Your symptoms, examination in the physician’s office, and CT scan will determine which sinuses need to be opened. Sometimes during sinus surgery the nasal septum, which divides the two sides of the nose, is also straightened. The turbinates, which filter and moisten air inside of the nose, may require surgery as well.
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