Endoscopic surgery for nasal obstruction

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Endoscopic surgery can help to widen sinus openings and alleviate symptoms of nasal obstruction and sinusitis.

What is a nasal obstruction?

Many people experience nasal obstruction – it is the main symptom of a common cold and means that air has difficulty travelling through the nasal airways. When this persists, it can be painful and cause breathing difficulties and can also be a symptom of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Endoscopic surgery is proven to be an effective treatment.

Need to know

  • What happens endoscopic surgery? icon plus

    Also known as endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS), this procedure uses an endoscope – a thin, illuminated, flexible tube that can look deep inside the body. This allows the consultant to get a better view of the inside of your nose. Using special instruments, they will enlarge the sinus openings by removing abnormal tissues to improve airflow and drainage in the nasal passages. After the procedure, they may put a dressing or splints inside your nose.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    The treatment is usually carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep. It takes one to two hours.

    It is generally a very safe and simple procedure, but in some cases, there may be some risks and side effects involved. These may include:

    • bleeding – a small amount of bleeding for around a week after the operation is common. Speak to your consultant if it goes on for longer than a month or is very heavy.
    • infection – sometimes the operation can cause swelling in the sinuses, leading to infection.
    • pain – you may feel some pain or discomfort, which can generally be treated with mild painkillers.
  • After surgery icon plus

    You should be able to go home on the day of your operation, although it’s sometimes necessary to stay in overnight.

    Your nose is likely to continue to feel blocked for some time after the treatment. Try not to blow your nose for at least a week afterwards - a nasal spray may be provided to help clear your nose and reduce the chances of infection. You can also rinse your nose with salt water to help to keep it clean.

    It’s a good idea to take up to one week off work to give you time to recover.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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