The surgical treatment of sinusitis has evolved
dramatically over the last 20 years, and even more so in the last 10 years or so. Traditionally,
the treatment of sinusitis included washing out the sinuses, called an antral washout.
This was a very basic technique aimed at flushing infection out of the sinuses, but it rarely
provided long term benefit. Then, understanding of how we operate on sinuses evolved, and
it was geared towards helping the natural drainage pathways of the sinuses to work better
and to try and conserve normal anatomy to help the nose and sinuses function more naturally.
More recently, a technique called balloon sinuplasty has developed, where, rather than
removing tissue at all, we try to enlarge the openings into the sinuses by expanding
a balloon in the openings to create a more natural-sized opening, without causing trauma
and removing normal tissue. The benefit of these new techniques is that the surgery can be performed as day case procedures, and more recently, even under local anesthetics sometimes, and the recovery can be much, much quicker. There’s no need for nasal packing
after sinus surgery now, which most patients found very traumatic in the past. You can go home the same day and return to work quicker also. Hence the downtime after surgical treatment
is much reduced and recovery is much quicker.