Endoscopic sinus surgery is a procedure to open the passages of the nose and sinuses. It is done to treat long-term (chronic) sinus infections. An ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) does the surgery.
This surgery is called endoscopic because an instrument called an endoscope is used. This is a small, rigid tube with a light and a camera at the end. Small cuts are made in the nose and sinuses to allow the scope to pass. The surgeon then uses small tools to do the surgery.
Different procedures may be done. They include:
Sinus surgery is much less common in children compared with adults. In children, sinus surgery is usually done only for chronic sinusitis when medical treatment has not helped. Chronic sinusitis means the infection has lasted for at least 3 months. Medical treatment includes antibiotic and corticosteroid medicines.
Surgery for short-term (acute) sinusitis is only done when a child has other serious infections near the sinuses.
Complications of the surgery are rare but include:
The ENT will examine your child’s ears, nose, and throat. Your child may need tests such as a CT scan of the sinuses. Your child’s ENT will explain your child’s surgery.
Make sure you talk with your child’s ENT about the following:
If your child gets sick before surgery, call his or her ENT. Surgery may need to be rescheduled.
The surgery usually takes from 1 to 3 hours. In general, you can expect the following:
Your child may stay in the hospital overnight. Or he or she may go home a few hours after surgery.