Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that opens up sinus air cells and sinus ostia (openings) with an endoscope. The procedure is approximately one to two hours, and is usually performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient surgical setting. It usually does not cause facial swelling or bruising, and does not generally require nasal packing.

Pain after surgery is usually mild. You can anticipate an early return to work, although you may feel tired and should restrict activity somewhat for a week or two. Full recovery takes several weeks, and severe inflammation may take months to settle down completely. That is why continued medical therapy following surgery is essential. Expect dried blood, mucus and crusting to occur inside the nose. Your doctor may recommend nasal irrigation or salt-water sprays to facilitate normal sinus activity. Postoperative medical therapy may include antibiotics, topical nasal steroid sprays, antihistamines, decongestants, and a tapering course of oral steroids. The degree and type of medical therapy will depend on your particular problem and post surgical response.