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The four sinus cavities, frontal, maxillary, ethmoid, and sphenoid are lined with soft tissue called mucous membrane and covered with cilia. The lining and cilia protect the body from dust, pollen, germs, and other foreign bodies in the air, and humidifies the air entering in through the nose. However, such high exposure to environmental irritants can overwhelm the body’s natural defenses and makes many people susceptible to sinus infection or bacteria-nearly 37 million Americans are affected by sinus disorders annually.

Symptoms of sinus disorders vary widely. Infection from colds or sinusitis can result in facial pain and pressure, discolored mucous discharge, nasal obstruction, reduced smell and taste, headache and fatigue. Most people can be treated with antibiotics, nasal steroid sprays, oral steroids, antihistamines, and saline sprays, although surgery is an option if medical therapy proves to be ineffective. Other factors such as a deviated septum may necessitate surgical treatment.

Endoscopic sinus surgery, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remove blockages in the sinuses for recurring or persistent sinus infections.

During the procedure, a thin lighted tube with a camera on the end is inserted into the nose to let the doctor visually examine the area. Tiny surgical instruments are then inserted to remove the obstructive tissues. Endoscopic sinus surgery does not require any incision, as the whole procedure is performed through the nostrils. Most procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and patients can go home the same day. Today we perform many of these procedures in the office.

Most patients experience a major relief in symptoms such as facial pain and swelling, difficulty breathing and headaches. Endoscopic sinus surgery is also effective in removing sinus polyps, tumors and in repair of CSF leaks and even in providing exposure for removal of brain tumors.

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