Sinusitis Surgery: What to Expect

Dr. Amin Javer, MD, FRCSC, FARS, discusses Sinusitis Surgery: What to Expect

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Dr. Amin Javer, MD, FRCSC, FARS, discusses Sinusitis Surgery: What to Expect
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Dr. Amin Javer, MD, FRCSC, FARS

Sinusitis Surgery: What to Expect Duration: 2 minutes, 2 seconds

Sinus surgery is reserved for patients who have failed maximum medical management.  

You don’t want to go start operating on patients that are going to actually get better just on medical management. So we actually first exhaust medical management, and if those patients will not get cured, then the next step is surgery, and that is the ultimate step in treating chronic sinusitis patients.  
This is a very expensive chronic disorder, and you need to get patients better. At that point, we will consider sinus surgery. Currently the gold standard for treating sinuses is with computer assisted sinus surgery. 

We use a very fancy computer that is attached to the patient’s skull using a head frame, and then we actually track our instruments on a three-dimensional CT scan in real-time, so we can tell exactly where we are in their head to an accuracy of less than one millimeter.

We’re working very close to the eyes, to the optic nerves, the brain, the pituitary gland, very important structures around the sinuses, so we work in this box that is an inch and a half by an inch space, spending three or four hours in there, cleaning it out, flushing the sinuses, getting the disease out, getting those drainage pathways open because that’s what’s going to make the sinuses function again, and it’s called functional sinus surgery, or functional endoscopic sinus surgery.  


All of the surgery is done off a computer screen, and off a camera screen, so we’re actually not touching the patient at all using endoscopes and really fine instruments to go in and open those cavities. Once this is done, we have a beautiful drainage pathway out of the sinuses into the nasal cavity, and everything, the little hair cells, or cilia, that sweep the mucus out will then start to work in a normal fashion.

So we’re not making any holes that are not supposed to be there. It’s all functional endoscopic sinus surgery.

If you have any questions, you can go speak to your family doctor or go to your local sinus specialist.

Presenter: Dr. Amin Javer, Otolaryngologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Otolaryngologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.