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Endoscopic Sinus Surgery vs. Non-invasive Procedures: An Overview

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: Sinusitis is one of the most common ailments, affecting approximately 37 million Americans, and millions of others from across the globe. The condition manifests when the sinuses inside the nose get blocked and mucus backs up within them, resulting in bacterial growth. The issue may cause a number of problems such as nasal drainage, headache, respiratory congestion, pressure in the face, and impaired sense of smell, among others.

In cases of acute sinusitis, doctors may prescribe medications; however, for chronic cases, sinus surgery is usually the only way ahead. Endoscopic sinus surgery is the standard procedure used to treat chronic sinusitis. An endoscopic sinus surgery enlarges the natural sinus openings, making them less prone to blockage and infection, and also provides relief from nasal polyps and septal deviations – a condition known as ‘turbinate hypertrophy’.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery vs. Balloon Sinuplasty

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia, using an endoscope that passes through the nostrils and requires no external incision. The sinus surgery doctor breaks down the thin bony walls that separate the sinuses to enlarge the opening. It clears the passages from the sinuses to the nasal cavities, so that the mucus drains freely, reducing the chances of blockage. The procedure takes approximately one to four hours, depending on the extent of the procedure.

Balloon Sinuplasty

A comparatively new procedure to treat chronic sinusitis, balloon sinuplasty is performed under local anesthesia and has minimal pain, less bleeding and no swelling. The surgeon inserts a catheter, which has a tiny balloon at the tip, inside the nostrils. When the catheter reaches the blocked sinus passage, the balloon is inflated enough to open the passage. When the balloon spreads the linings apart, it is deflated and removed.

Balloon sinuplasty is a non-invasive procedure that provides speedy recovery, but, there are chances that the separated linings might go back to their original size after the procedure. The patient may need to undergo another surgery, once the sinuses are inflamed. Balloon sinuplasty, in addition to this, doesn’t treat all sinus related conditions such as nasal polyps.

Must Read: Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Versus Balloon Sinuplasty: Which One is Right for You?

Why Endoscopic Sinus is a Reliable Solution

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a better procedure to deal with chronic sinusitis as the doctor creates windows into the sinuses, making it easier for tropical irrigations to enter the sinuses. That is the reason why most ENT practitioners recommend endoscopic sinus surgery to manage chronic nasal infection/inflammation and sinus. Though an invasive procedure that entails approximately a week or more of recovery time, endoscopic sinus surgery is definitely the way to go when it comes to the management of chronic sinusitis.


While most people dealing with sinusitis shy away from endoscopic surgery, as it is an invasive procedure; they need to understand it’s always better to go for a treatment that addressed the problem for good. Although non-invasive procedures such as balloon sinuplasty seem to be an “easier” alternative – given the probability of a relapse – it is definitely not a recommended option for the patients of chronic sinusitis. If you wish to learn more or have any questions, feel free to contact us for a round of no-obligation free consultation.

We’re here to help

If you are frustrated by frequent sinus infections, persistent nasal congestion, or other sinus symptoms, Dr. Arjuna Kuperan and the team at Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus can help. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule your consultation.

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