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Chronic Sinusitis

Sinusitis is a condition in which the sinuses become swollen and inflamed. It occurs when the usual pathways for nasal drainage become blocked and mucous builds up in the nasal cavities. If sinusitis lasts for more than 12 weeks, the condition is referred to as chronic sinusitis. Patients with chronic sinusitis may have difficulty breathing, headaches or experience facial swelling and tenderness.

There are many possible causes of chronic sinusitis, including infections, a deviated septum or nasal polyps. When it comes to diagnosing and treating chronic sinusitis, Temple's otolaryngologists are among the most experienced in the area, offering the latest surgical techniques, such as minimally invasive endoscopic sinus surgery.

Chronic Sinusitis Treatment at Temple

When medications alone cannot treat chronic sinusitis, surgery may be necessary. Surgery for chronic sinusitis has one goal: to improve the sinuses' ability to drain. This is accomplished by surgically removing blockages and backed-up mucus.

Three common surgical treatments are:
  • Correction of nasal airway obstruction: A Temple head and neck surgeon accesses the sinuses from inside the mouth or through a small incision on the face, through which blockages can be removed. This procedure is often performed when there are complications of sinusitis, such as an infection.
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery: A Temple head and neck surgeon inserts a thin tube with an attached light into the nose. This allows the surgeon to view the blockage and remove it. Endoscopic sinus surgery is usually performed when there are small blockages, such as nasal polyps or small pieces of bone.
  • Image-guided surgery of the sinuses: A Temple head and neck surgeon performs endoscopic sinus surgery while using CT scan images to further guide the surgery and increase precision. This method is preferred when there are nasal polyps or when the nasal anatomy is irregular due to prior sinus surgery.