Functional endoscopic sinus surgery


Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is the name given to operations used to treat severe sinus problems

What is Functional endoscopic sinus surgery for?

FESS is used to treat severe sinus problems. The procedure can be performed without the need for incisions in the face and mouth.

The surgery will only be considered once medicinal treatments of drops, tablets and sprays have proved unsuccessful.

Need to know

  • What happens during surgery? icon plus

    The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthetic, meaning you'll be asleep for the duration. Your consultant will use a special instrument to unblock your sinuses via your nose.

    Small amounts of bone and the swollen lining blocking your sinuses will be removed. Once your sinuses are unblocked, the inflammation usually settles and your symptoms should start to improve.

    There should be no need for incisions unless the operation is a complicated one in which case your consultant will have discussed this with you before the operation.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Endoscopic sinus surgery is as safe, and possibly safer, than other methods of operating on the sinuses as it does not involve incisions into your face and mouth. Your consultant will let you know how best to prepare for this procedure.
  • After surgery icon plus

    You will be sent to the recovery room until the anaesthetic has worn off. Immediately after the procedure you may feel your nose is blocked. This may be because of a dressing inside your nose or surgical plastic sheets (splints). These are not always used but your consultant will explain if they have been necessary in your case.

    Dressings, if used, will usually be removed from your nose within 24 hours but plastic splints may have to stay longer. It is common to have a blocked up nose even after removing the dressing or splints. This should gradually improve over time.

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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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