Nasal & Sinus Disease

 

When everything is working properly, we are usually unaware of our nose and sinuses. At ENT Specialists of Austin, we are experts at helping you when things aren’t working properly.

Here’s a list of common problems people face:

  • Acute and chronic sinusitis
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Non-allergic rhinitis
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Turbinate hypertrophy
  • Nasal valve stenosis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Sinonasal tumors
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nasal fractures
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Smell disorders

Sinusitis

Sinusitis is the swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses, the air-filled bony chambers in our faces. More than 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis every year, making it one of the most common reasons for doctor visits in the country. Acute episodes typically last 1-2 weeks and the patient recovers. A patient may have recurrent acute sinusitis if they have 4 episodes per year. A patient has chronic sinusitis when symptoms last 8 weeks or longer.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Facial pain/pressure
  • Nasal congestion
  • Smell changes
  • Post-nasal drainage
  • Tooth pain/sensitivity
  • Cough
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Ear pain

Treatment

The mainstays of sinusitis therapy are saline irrigation, decongestants, steroids, and antibiotics. Sometimes, these components can be compounded into a topical therapy to treat sinusitis.

When medical management fails to prevent recurrent infections or cure chronic sinusitis, surgical options are considered. Anatomical risk factors such as septal deviations may need to be addressed to help cure sinusitis. The main purpose of sinus surgery is to open the natural sinus drainage pathways to establish airflow and a pathway for sinuses to be able to drain. This can be done in one of 2 ways: 1) balloon sinuplasty and 2) functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). Dr. Fyfe and Dr. Nason are experts at both techniques.

Balloon Sinuplasty™ is a new FDA-approved catheter-based sinus surgery system used to treat recurrent and chronic sinus infections. The natural sinus openings are gently remodeled into wider pathways with the use of inflatable balloons. Patients have improved symptoms and fewer infections because the sinus drainage pathways remain wider permanently. Importantly, the sinus linings are preserved and no tissue is removed or cut away. In most cases, this procedure can be performed comfortably in the office under local anesthesia. Advantages include less bleeding, quicker recovery, and avoidance of general anesthesia. Most patients can go back to their regular routines in 1-2 days. Furthermore, this procedure does not burn any bridges and traditional FESS remains an option. Please see our Balloon Sinuplasty page for more information.

In FESS, the goal is once again to open the natural sinus drainage pathways. This is done with cutting instruments to remove tissue around the natural opening to render them larger. Furthermore, diseased tissue such as polyps can be removed. The sinus linings are also preserved, allowing the sinuses to function properly. This technique requires general anesthesia and is associated with slightly more bleeding and longer recovery time than balloon sinuplasty. Most patients require about one week to recover.

Nasal Surgery

If medical management has failed to control symptoms, surgery may be indicated. These are common surgeries we are able to perform:

Inferior turbinate reduction

This procedure reduces the size and volume of the inferior turbinate to allow for improved nasal airflow. It can performed in multiple ways and is also offered to adults as an in-office procedure.

Septoplasty

A deviated nasal septum typically blocks nasal airflow and may contribute to headaches and sinusitis. A septoplasty straightens the nasal septum so that the nasal airway is reopened. The straightening happens by removing deviated portions of septal bone and cartilage. This surgery is performed through the nostrils so facial incisions and bruising are avoided. Furthermore, the external appearance of the nose is not affected. Typically, silicone stents are kept within the nose for 2-3 days to help speed healing. Most patients recover in 5-7 days.

Nasal Valve Repair

People can have significant nasal airway obstruction from collapse of the nasal valve region of the nose. At ENT Specialists of Austin, we are able to reconstruct the internal nasal valve region in multiple ways, including in the office. We are also one of the few offices in the country offering Latera, a novel product that is very effective. Please watch the following videos to learn more.