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Old 04-04-2009, 10:30 AM   #1
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Sinus surgery and septoplasty

Hi folks,

I'm a 25 yr old male and have been suffering from chronic sinusitus for well over three years now. My ENT doc ordered a CT scan which revealed problems in my left ethmoid complex and a strongly deviated septum. He has scheduled me for Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) to fix the ethmoid problem and a septoplasty to straighten the septum. The operation is scheduled for the 5 May.

Today I attende the hospital for my preop assessment and the consultant ran through the procedures with me. The operation sounds horrific! He told me to expect considerable pain following the procedure along with a lot of blood, blocked nose for up to three weeks etc. etc. Moreover, he also said that there is a chance that the operation will not impove my sinusitus at all!

Does anyone here know more about this type of surgery, or has anyone gone through it themselves? I'd be really grateful to hear from anyone else who can let me know if this surgery is worth it!

Thanks in advance,

Sam

 
Old 04-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #2
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Re: Sinus surgery and septoplasty

Quote:
He told me to expect considerable pain following the procedure along with a lot of blood, blocked nose for up to three weeks etc. etc.
That's definitely a worst-case scenario, primarily from the septoplasty, which can be quite an invasive procedure due to the need to remove cartilage from the septum. There is almost always some post-surgical discomfort from a septoplasty but many people feel much better within a week, and the amount of blood is typically very minimal.

Quote:
he also said that there is a chance that the operation will not impove my sinusitus at all!
The recovery from the FESS isn't bad at all (but since you're having the septoplasty at the same time, it's kind of irrelevant). It is possible that the endoscopic procedure won't solve your sinus problems. It's important that you figure out whether you sinus problems are simply because of the physical problems or because of something else (allergies are a common culprit). If your sinus issues are the result of allergies, the surgery alone won't solve problem.

 
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:11 AM   #3
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Re: Sinus surgery and septoplasty

Hi Sam

I too have been recommended to have FESS and septoplasy op for deviated septum following a scan. However after discussing the op and pros and cons of surgery with friends and colleagues (I work for the nhs so my colleagues are medical) I have decided not to undergo surgery until i have tried other avenues. My GP is referring me to allergist to check this out. Not sure i have made the right decision (surgery was due to take place 22 April) but felt really unsure about surgery. I feel absolutely awful at the moment (fullness in the head and ears) but feel that i need to check out the allergy route first. Dont suppose this is much help but please let me know what you decide and if you have the surgery how you get on.

 
Old 04-07-2009, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Sinus surgery and septoplasty

I just had the FESS procedure yesterday, and was really on the fence about going ahead with it. I have had anxiety issues for several years and worried about the risks of surgery and not being able to breathe afterward. Fortunately, the procedure went fine, and the surgeon removed "a lot" of tissue. I had very little pain immediately afterward, and could actually breathe better than before! Over the course of the last 24 hours, I have begun to feel tired and a little light headed, which ironically, is exactly what prompted me to go ahead with this in the first place. Years of sinus infections, including the most recent that resulted in 8 weeks of antibiotics, were enough to get me to seek another solution. I had diligently tried every other medical means to conquer this, without any success.

I had read many boards and talked to lots of people who had the same procedure. As is expected, their stories ranged from amazing to horrific. But, what finally sold me was finding the right surgeon. He understood my anxieties and concerns, and calmly explained that it really wouldn't be as bad as I imagined or had heard about. So far, he is right!

The constant cycle of fatigue and malaise, coupled with the idea of taking stronger meds for the rest of my life, were less appealing than enduring what I figured would be a difficult road. However, I have to say that so far it is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. And if you knew how anxious I am, that is really saying something.

One thing that has really helped is that the surgeon used a Merogel packing material that dissolves, in lieu of the tampon type that I have read about. I did a lot of research about packing, because of me fear of not being able to breathe through my nose. So, I made sure to find a surgeon that didn't use the conventional material. My packing is much further in my sinus cavity, so breathing through my nose hasn't been a problem.

Although I am less than 48 hours post-op (arguably the toughest period), I would encourage anyone that has suffered chronic sinus problems to find the right ENT and have the FESS procedure. Find one that has at least 10 years of experience, because the rate of surgical complications drops considerably with this procedure, as the surgeon gains experience.

 
Old 04-08-2009, 03:49 AM   #5
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Re: Sinus surgery and septoplasty

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyace View Post
One thing that has really helped is that the surgeon used a Merogel packing material that dissolves, in lieu of the tampon type that I have read about. I did a lot of research about packing, because of me fear of not being able to breathe through my nose. So, I made sure to find a surgeon that didn't use the conventional material. My packing is much further in my sinus cavity, so breathing through my nose hasn't been a problem.
Glad to hear that your surgery went well and you're feeling better.

You (and anyone else who's worried about post-surgical packing) might be interested in knowing that a growing number of ENTs don't use any packing after surgery. The decision to use packing is partly based on the actual procedure performed and the amount of blood loss for an individual patient, but some ENTs are only using packing in about 10% of their cases.

 
Old 04-09-2009, 09:56 AM   #6
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Re: Sinus surgery and septoplasty

Hi Sam,

I am going through the same issue and am scheduled for surgery on May 26th. I have a severe deviated septum and concho bullosa (sp?). I have sufferred from allergies as well as chronic sinus issue throughout my whole life (I'm 27 yrs old) and they have progressively gotten worse. My last 2 infections took steroids to clear up. Although the surgery won't cure my allergies, the surgeon is confident that it will help eliminate a lot of the infections I get. No matter where the infection starts, it always ends up in my sinuses and can be so painful that I can barely open my eyes. I met with 3 surgeons before being comfortable enough to move forward and like a previous statement; he also does not use packing unless he absolutley has to. I am very fearlful about the packing and especially the rmeoval process. He re-assurred me that he's going to try not and use it but worst case scenario, it is painful but quick removal process. He is very aware of my fears and has been good about talking me through them. I think every situation is different and you need to evaluate what is best for you and the pros vs cons. My issue can't get much worse so I figure the surgery can only help. I've also heard horrific stories and stories that it was not as bad as expected. I usually just prepare for the worst! Good luck and keep us updated on what you decide.

 
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