I'm not sure what FESS stands for, but I've heard good things about balloon sinuplasty. It won't help for cases of deviated septums and growths, but if the airway/sinuses are constricted causing problems, it's supposed to be a lot less invasive. I'm curious as to how long the affects last if it's temporary or long-term, but even full surgery isn't guarunteed long-term.
I feel for your sister! I suffered for years with chronic sinusitis and spent the better part of my 20's not being able to taste or smell anything. I wanted to respond because I have undergone both procedures--I had the traditional sinus surgery several years ago (Jan 2003), and more recently, the balloon sinuplasty surgery (May 2009). After the traditional sinus surgery, it took me several weeks to recover and feel *normal*. I had a lot of discomfort and didn't get much guidance from the physician regarding follow-up care (i.e. saline rinsing) so I had some unpleasant experiences with scabbing (yuck). It was a real let-down when, several months after the surgery, I seemed to be right back where I started: miserable. This year, however, I had the balloon sinuplasty with my new ENT--what a difference! My recovery period was around 3 days. It was night and day with the traditional surgery. I had hardly any discomfort (the normal post surgery swelling but nothing like the previous surgery). And my doctor was wonderful with the follow up. I have a toddler now so it was really important to me that I not be bedridden for weeks and I was so pleasantly surprised! I was able to run around after her just a few days after surgery. I did get a sinus infection recently (unfortunately no surgery will prevent you from getting them) but the good news is my passageways remained clear. I was still able to smell, taste and enjoy my daughter. I had a follow-up with my doctor just last week and everything looks great!
I hope that helps. Please feel free to email me with questions and I'll let you know my experience.
Thanks for the replies. Very much appreciated.
I will definitely share w/ Sara.
Right now we are feeling good about balloon sinuplasty, looking more and more like it's the way to go.
Certainly open to hearing from more folks. But yes, again, thanks to those who have replied this far.
I've been doing similar research on balloon sinuplasty. And what I have yet to find are any studies (or even medical opinions) on the LONG-TERM effectiveness. Needs for additional procedures. That kind of thing.
feedback seems pretty consistent. balloon sinuplasty is less invasive. good thing. long term effectiveness undetermined. but as pointed out FESS can be ineffective long-term as well. so, worth looking at.
Good thoughts - thanks all. I will definitely poke around and try and find some info on long term effectiveness. Certainly hoping to hear from anyone w/ any of this sort of info.
Really encouraged though about balloon sinuplasty. And FESS has no shortage of horror stories.