Many years ago, rudimentary sinus surgery was performed in the office with basic instruments. As our instrumentation and ability grew, more complex, more targeted, and more successful sinus surgery was performed in the operating room with a general anesthetic. Now, with continued improvement in technique and technology, and with an expanded understanding of what can be achieved with local anesthetic and gentle sedation, we have found that many of our sinus cases can be performed in the office setting. Even advanced sinus procedures can be completed in the office with the same technology and results found in the hospital setting.
Sinusitis is challenging disease that affects roughly 3.5 million Americans each year. The sinuses are essentially air containing spaces which surrounding the nose, are lined with the same lining tissue found in the nose, and which produce mucus that drains through small passages into the nose. Occasionally these passages become swollen shut or they simply stand in the way of the application of topical medicine into the sinuses to treat chronic disease. Every attempt is made to treat conservatively, but occasionally surgery is required to open these passages or to simply remove the smaller sinuses.
Thankfully, we are now able to accomplish these procedures in the office setting. Even advanced sinus procedures can be completed in the office with the same technology and results found in the hospital setting. Modern video and fiber optic scopes provide a pristine video display of our operative field. Image-guidance technology allows us to visualize our instruments in real-time on an individual’s CT scan. The drainage pathways can be opened with balloon technology. The smallest sinuses can be safely removed. This can be done in the convenient private office setting while avoiding the risks and downtime of the general anesthesia in the hospital setting.