What is Sinus Surgery?
Frequent nasal infections and blockage can be caused by sinus inflammation that leads to breathing problems and chronic sinusitis. You may have tried several nonsurgical options, like nasal irrigation, corticosteroids, antibiotics, immunotherapy, or other treatments, but for a solution with long-lasting results, sinus surgery (also known as sinuplasty) can open the nasal passages and relieve sinus problems. At Alford Facial Plastic Surgery in Houston, TX, Dr. Gene often performs functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) to open the natural pathways to the sinuses, improving the flow of oxygen and promoting healthier sinuses. This functional nasal surgery by double board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Eugene "Gene" Alford can remove excess tissue, nasal polyps, and other obstructions to enlarge the sinus passage for better flow and drainage. If needed, some of the sinuses (maxillary and ostiomeatal complex) can be opened to relieve chronic sinus inflammation, sinus headaches, and sinus while protecting the bone and cartilage that support the nose so you will have long-lasting, attractive results.
"Gene Alford is always honest and trustworthy, which is why I respect his opinion."- Anonymous / Office Visit / Jan 15, 2018
"Dr. Alford had to rebuild my daughter's nose after she fell face forward wearing a 40 lb. backpack. He had to take some cartilage from her ear to create a new septum, and reshaped the exterior to a more pleasing shape. It was a lengthy surgery that was a bit nerve wracking for me. I highly recommend him and would go to no other doctor for ENT issues."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Oct 31, 2019
"Dr. Alford is not only an amazing surgeon but he’s an amazing human who has forever impacted my life and in some ways saved it. I had to have major reconstructive surgery from horrible choices I was making that was killing me and he helped build my face back. He’s was and will always be a strong force in my life to make sure I don’t ever go back to my old life. I’ll FOREVER be grateful for that man."- A.K. / Facebook / Oct 18, 2019
"This Physician is the best in Houston. He really cares about his patients, has a great bedside manner, and has innovative treatments and procedures that he provides for all patients. Dr. Alford is someone I would recommend."- S.S. / Facebook / Oct 18, 2019
"He is an excellent doctor and very nice person :-)"- S.W. / Facebook / Oct 17, 2019
Sinuplasty is an outpatient procedures that usually takes about 2 hours under general anesthesia. Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) involves the insertion of an endoscope (a very thin fiber-optic tube) into the nose for a direct visual examination of the openings into the sinuses. With state of-the-art micro-telescopes and instruments, Dr. Gene removes any abnormal and obstructive tissue. In the majority of cases, this procedure is performed entirely through the nostrils, leaving no external scars. The advantage of this procedure over any traditional method is that the surgery is less extensive, which causes less swelling and mild discomfort.
Sinus surgery is usually performed in an accredited surgical facility as an outpatient procedure, so you will be able to leave with a responsible adult to recover at home when you are cleared. After the operation, you may have nasal packing, a gel solution coating the inner nostrils, or splints. We attempt to avoid the use of packing after sinus surgery, however about 10 – 20% of the time in order to ensure the best possible outcome after surgery we will use some form of packing. When packing is used nasal saline spray use is very important. The packing will be removed by the physician 3 – 7 days after surgery. If no packing is used following endoscopic sinus surgery, we will use a gel solution that coats the inner surfaces of the nose to stop any bleeding resulting from surgery. This gel will dissolve with the use of the saline nasal spray. If the nasal septum is straightened, thin splints will be sewn inside the nose to assist in keeping the septum straight while it is healing. The splints are removed by Dr. Gene a week after surgery. Removal of the splints is usually painless. Your nose may feel blocked as a result of swelling from surgery. For this reason, you must remember to breathe through your mouth. Nasal irrigation may be recommended about 10 days after the procedure to prevent crusting. Your first post-operative appointment will occur 5 – 7 days after your surgery. Your second post-operative visit will be a month after your surgery and will be scheduled at the time of your first post-operative visit. If your appointment is not made while you are in the office, please call during regular office hours to schedule a mutually convenient time.
Since Dr. Gene is careful to maintain the structural support of the nose during sinus surgery, the results are long lasting. However, an injury after your nose surgery can damage your results. In these cases, Dr. Gene recommends you make a consultation appointment to learn more about your options.
What does Sinus Surgery Cost?
Sinus surgery is usually only performed to fix a medical issue, like chronic sinusitis, and is not a cosmetic procedure, so it is generally covered by medical insurance. The office staff of Alford Facial Plastic Surgery will take your insurance information and communicate with the company to determine your coverage and any out-of-pocket costs.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 1 - 2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1 Week
- Procedure Recovery Location
Sinus Surgery FAQs
- Broken sinus from injury
- Chronic allergies
- Chronic sinus infections
- Chronic sinusitis
- Deviated septum
- Enlarged turbinates
- Nasal polyps
- Nasal pressure
- Sinus headaches
The most important thing you can do after nasal surgery is to begin liberal use of nasal saline (salt water) spray the day after surgery. Specifically, you should spray your nose with 10 – 20 puffs of saline nasal spray in each nostril every hour that you are awake. You cannot use too much nasal saline spray following nasal surgery. The salt water will dissolve any blood, mucous, or gel left in your nose after surgery. This will improve your ability to breathe through your nose, while reducing swelling and speeding up your healing and recovery. You should expect some blood tinged drainage from your nose following any nasal surgery. Even though you may not feel much initial discomfort following your surgery, pain medication should be taken as prescribed by Dr. Gene, every 4 hours for the first 24 – 36 hours after surgery. We find that many patients initially feel very well following surgery and are reluctant to take any medication for symptoms of pain. Unfortunately, the patients who tough it out often develop discomfort 18 – 24 hours after the procedure, which may then last for 3 – 4 days.
Incisions and Scars?
Sinus surgery uses incisions on the inside of the nose, so surgical scars will not be visible. It is still important to follow Dr. Gene’s scar care instructions to prevent an inflamed scar that could obstruct your nasal passages.
Sinus surgery may be combined with another nose surgery, like rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, or septum surgery. Other cosmetic face surgeries can be added to sinus surgery based on your concerns and goals that are discussed with Dr. Gene during your consultation.