What is endoscopic sinus surgery?

Endoscopic sinus surgery, or functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), is performed in patients suffering with chronic sinus symptoms that have failed to improve on medical therapy.


How does the procedure work?

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. No cuts are made on your face. Your surgeon will use a specialised camera (an endoscope) and instruments in order to view inside the nose. Abnormal growths (polyps) that may be blocking the sinuses, causing chronic pain, nasal obstruction or infection are removed. Careful planning is required for each case, so you will be asked to undergo a CT scan of your sinuses prior to your sinus surgery.


Why is it performed?

By removing abnormal tissue (polyps) or bone that is causing blockage or chronic infection, your sinuses are able to drain normally, thus restoring normal function.


How should I prepare for the procedure?

Endoscopic sinus surgery is always performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital. You will be given specific instructions before your date of surgery instructing you when to stop eating/drinking and specific medication that may be needed before or after surgery.  


What can I expect after the surgery?

A dissolvable material is placed into the nasal cavities after the surgery to help with healing and to minimise the risk of potential bleeding. There will be no bruising around the eyes. We pay very careful attention to managing your pain after the procedure. Once at home, you will be asked to gently wash out the nose with a salt-water preparation. This helps clear the nasal passages. It normally takes 1-2 weeks to fully recover from the surgery and anaesthetic.