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Old 09-25-2007, 07:41 PM   #1
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Doctor says I need sinus surgery!

I saw an ENT doctor today and he wants to do sinus surgery. He said it's simple, quick and could help me alot. I told him I've heard horror stories about the pain and the problem coming back. He said new techniques are better and a lot of it is the doctor's technique too. I would need a general anesthetic--scary--haven't had one since 1958 when ether was used for a tonsillectomy! But only for 5-10 minutes. Don't even need to do any pre-op work tests or bloodwork. I may get a 2nd opinion, but I think something needs to be done, as much as I don't like the idea of surgery. This has gone on 4 years. I always had some post-nasal drip, but this is worse. The CT scan showed chronic infection and a mucus retention cyst taking up over half of one maxillary sinus. So there isn't drainage. And it'll just get worse. Because it will grow. This all started, I realized, about a month after an upper root canal on that side. I wonder if that could have introduced infection or maybe caused irritation/trauma to the sinuses. I guess the tooth root can go into the sinuses.

He says the only packing I'll need will be absorbable. Besides the drainage and constant lump in the back of my throat that I notice not just swallowing but breathing, there is off-and-on cheek pain, tooth pain, jaw pain, neck soreness on the left side more often than not--could that be from it? Headaches the last month, not being able to smell nearly as well, sounding like I have a cold all the time, & now I'm having some light-headedness or visual disturbances. And problems with flying for 2 years, pins-and-needles headaches and the last time, a sudden feeling like a knife in my eye the last 10 minutes of the flight. I've been seeing doctors and having tests (including allergy) and trying lots of meds(allergy meds, mucus thinners), sinus rinses, twice on antibiotics, 3 different nasal sprays, steroids, etc. I think I've been more tired lately too.

Any advice? Thanks!

Sue

 
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:53 AM   #2
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Re: Doctor says I need sinus surgery!

I saw an ENT doctor today and he wants to do sinus surgery. He said it's simple, quick and could help me alot. He said new techniques are better and a lot of it is the doctor's technique too. I would need a general anesthetic--scary--haven't had one since 1958 when ether was used for a tonsillectomy! But only for 5-10 minutes. Don't even need to do any pre-op work tests or blood work.
Most ENT's will only do surgery when necessary.. especially if they have a pediatric specialty. Most ENT's are pretty good these days.. they can do most surgery by endoscopic methods.. up the nose.. and the pain is minimal to nil in the sinuses because nerves are minimal. The thing I question in your statement is no pre-op blood work. It should be standard to have blood drawn and a reaction check on the anesthesia.

I may get a 2nd opinion, but I think something needs to be done, as much as I don't like the idea of surgery.

Second opinions never hurt.. though it does get expensive. When in doubt check it out.

This has gone on 4 years. I always had some post-nasal drip, but this is worse. The CT scan showed chronic infection and a mucus retention cyst taking up over half of one maxillary sinus. So there isn't drainage.
Cysts happen some are more predisposed to them than others. My husband and his sister both had cysts removed in their 20's.. they may have to have some removed again in the future.. just something to look out for.. Their surgeries called for the ENTs to open a small window at the back of the maxillary sinuses to remove the cyst. The cysts were too big to come out the nose in their case. The love the side of their sinuses with the windows.. because they can drain out of them.

He says the only packing I'll need will be absorbable.
Does he mean it will go in and not need to be extracted in a week.. or that it will require constant treatment with saline spray? Most packing you keep wet with saline spray and as long as it doesn't dry out you are good no pain.. maybe a twinge if it is dry upon extraction.. but keeping it moist is your job and you can apply saline solution often and as needed.

Besides the drainage and constant lump in the back of my throat that I notice not just swallowing but breathing, there is off-and-on cheek pain, tooth pain, jaw pain, neck soreness on the left side more often than not--could that be from it? Headaches the last month, not being able to smell nearly as well, sounding like I have a cold all the time, & now I'm having some light-headedness or visual disturbances.
These are due to your cyst.. it has to come out.. your cyst has grown to such a degree that it is pressing on the facial and optic nerves in your head. You are describing pressure headaches and migraines. When the cyst is gone and he performs a bilateral turboplasty to help with the post nasal drip you will feel like a new person.. The size of the cysts has your olfactory glands trapped and covered as well.. resulting in the loss of smell. The only time I wish I had a loss of smell was when I would change my son's diapers. Sense of smell will return with removal of the cyst as well.

And problems with flying for 2 years, pins-and-needles headaches and the last time, a sudden feeling like a knife in my eye the last 10 minutes of the flight.
Flying causes sharp and dramatic pressure shifts in the body.. our fluid retaining cavities feel it the most.. ears popping and the like.. in the case of your cyst.. going up reduces pressure and thus allows for further expansion and quick and immediate increased pressure on already suffering facial and sinus nerves.

I've been seeing doctors and having tests (including allergy) and trying lots of meds(allergy meds, mucus thinners), sinus rinses, twice on antibiotics, 3 different nasal sprays, steroids, etc. I think I've been more tired lately too.

Allergy medications will do nothing for your cyst it has to come out. When the maxillaries are blocked.. the frontal, ethnoid, and back sinuses can not drain either. At this stage it is surgery or antibiotics for the rest of your life to keep the sinus infection from eating through your sinus cavities.. that is what chronic sinusitis is.. sinus infections of such frequency they are eating into your facial bones..

I have had more extensive sinus surgery than what will be done to you.. why? Chronic sinusitis and constricted sinus passage ways.. my sinuses were small, but well formed.. my allergies were such that more gunk was produced than could drain and I held a sinus infection 9-10 months out of a year. On top of that the inability to breathe through my nose and my swollen tonsils and adenoids was causing my obstructive sleep apnea to be severe. Clogged sinuses can cause mild or greater sleep apnea.. this is directed at your tired comment.

I had my tonsils and adenoids removed. I also had a full sinus roto rooter. Passages widened.. windows punched in every sinus cavity.. and the membranes removed permanently from my ethnoid and rear sinus cavities. My frontal and maxillary sinus cavities were reduced to 50% of their original membrane mass. Pain? Nada in the sinuses. The tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy made me unable to be concerned with a slight pressure headache. The big thing was I couldn't bend over.. had to sleep reclined at a 45 -60 degree angle and maintain impeccable posture.. otherwise Niagra falls out of my nose. I was unable to have any packing at all to prevent this because all my sinuses were rootered.

Any advice? Thanks!

Find an ENT you like.. I went to the ones that specialize in children.. they do not refuse adults.. they just tend to be up on the best and least invasive techniques out there. Get the surgery done ASAP.

Sincerely,
MG
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Last edited by mkgbrook; 09-26-2007 at 05:55 AM.

 
Old 09-26-2007, 08:37 AM   #3
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Re: Doctor says I need sinus surgery!

Thank you for your thorough response! I feel much better about this now.

Sue

 
Old 09-26-2007, 08:40 AM   #4
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Re: Doctor says I need sinus surgery!

Glad my families ENT experiences could help.
Sincerely,
MG
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:43 PM   #5
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Re: Doctor says I need sinus surgery!

MG-

You aren't a physician, are you?

Sue

 
Old 09-28-2007, 05:28 AM   #6
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Re: Doctor says I need sinus surgery!

Nope. BS/MS/MS/PHD Candidate with a large family full of sinus, allergies, sleep apnea, and thyroid issues. My SIL is a top notch MD and I have three aunts that are nurses. So I double check a lot of stuff through them. When I was young I want to be a vet.. does that count?

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:11 PM   #7
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Re: Doctor says I need sinus surgery!

He is not going to do a turboplasty, whatever that is. He'll do an endoscopic antrostomy of the maxillary sinus, I believe.

Sue

 
Old 09-30-2007, 02:43 PM   #8
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Re: Doctor says I need sinus surgery!

I just had sinuse surgery 2 weeks ago. This is the easiest surgery and recovery I ever had. Nothing, I mean, nothing to worry about. Just keep it clean, follow what your Dr suggest you to do and you will be out and about in no time.
I had 9 other surgeries in my life (include 2 levels lumbar fusion) so sinuse surgery was a joke for me.
Good luck to you, hope everything will go smooth for you.

 
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