woman suffering from sinus painIf you have chronic sinusitis (sinus infections that last more than 12 weeks despite attempts to treat it), your doctor may recommend Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) to help relieve your symptoms.

In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will explain what FESS is as well as the advantages it can provide.

What is FESS?

FESS is a minimally invasive type of sinus surgery that’s been performed in the United States since the mid-1980s. It enables your doctor to enlarge and clear the pathways of the sinuses to restore normal function and drainage. This helps prevent the build-up of mucus and pus that’s common in chronic sinusitis.

In this surgery, the doctor utilizes an endoscope – a thin instrument that provides illumination and allows him or her to clearly see the inside of your nose and sinus pathways.

Why is the FESS procedure performed?

FESS is performed to help patients who have acute or chronic sinusitis. Medication often doesn’t provide enough relief for these conditions, so surgery may be needed to help correct the underlying issue.

Since FESS allows your doctor to enlarge the nasal and sinus pathways and clear them of built-up mucus and pus, the mucus your sinuses produce on a daily basis should be able to drain more freely. As a result, you should experience an improvement in symptoms associated with sinusitis. These can include sinus pressure or congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, a reduced sense of smell or taste, facial pain and/or fatigue.

In addition, if you have nasal polyps (small, noncancerous growths) that are contributing to your sinusitis and not responding to medication, your doctor can remove these during your FESS procedure. Other structural issues such as a deviated septum (a crooked or off-center wall of bone and cartilage that separates your two nostrils) can also be corrected during FESS.

What are the advantages of the FESS procedure?

FESS has several advantages over the previous type of surgery, which was more invasive. These include the following:

  • Increased visibility: The endoscopic procedure gives your doctor an enhanced ability to see within your nose and sinuses.
  • Less invasive: FESS is performed through the nostrils, so you’ll have no outside scarring or evidence that surgery has been performed.
  • Fast recovery: It’s usually performed on an outpatient basis, and recovery is typically fast.
  • Less pain: Since the surgery is less invasive, it causes less pain. If you do experience pain, it can be well managed with medication.
  • Less need for packing: You may not need to have your nose packed after FESS, because there’s less postoperative bleeding.
  • Healthy tissue is preserved: The precision offered by FESS allows healthy nasal and sinus tissues to be preserved.
  • Long-lasting relief: Since FESS is used to enlarge your nasal and sinus pathways and remove blockages, it provides significant, long-lasting relief from chronic sinusitis and its symptoms.
  • Less reliance on medication: You may be able to stop taking medication or may be able to reduce the amount you need, which can also help reduce unwanted side effects.
  • Ability to provide additional correction as needed: If you have nasal polyps or another structural issue, your doctor can also address these problems during your surgery.

Why should you choose DFW Sinus Select for your FESS procedure?

Our board-certified otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors) are dedicated to accurately diagnosing and effectively treating your nose and sinus issues. We recommend the most conservative treatment possible – such as medication or minimally invasive procedures such as FESS and balloon sinuplasty – to achieve the relief you need!

If you’re experiencing congestion, facial pain, or other symptoms of chronic sinusitis and would like to find out if FESS could help you breathe easier, make an appointment today at one of DFW Sinus Select’s 10 locations!