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Sinus and Other Nasal Surgery

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS)

Encompasses a variety of procedures performed to encourage sinus drainage and prevent infection. These are performed endoscopically and often include a septal procedure to improve access. A pre-operative CT is mandatory.




Usually acute or chronic sinusitis that fails medical treatment, advanced indications all exist




Risks of hospital admission, anaesthesia, failure of the surgery/ recurrence of symptoms, bleeding, nasal discharge, dryness and crusting, cerebrospinal fluid leak (with potential for meningitis) (<0.5%), periorbital/orbital haematoma (<0.5%), loss of vision.

The image opposite shows a schematic of the difference pre FESS (right side) to post op FESS (left side). All ostia have been opened and drainage from the paranasal sinuses have been improved.

Submucosal resection (SMR) /septoplasty


This surgery is performed to correct a bent nasal septum. It is also performed as part of FESS to allow access to the middle meatus. The terms SMR and septoplasty are often used interchangeably but strictly speaking in an SMR bent septum is removed whereas a septoplasty aims for more conservative correction of the abnormality with minimal cartilage removal.




Nasal obstruction, FESS, occasionally performed for snoring and epistaxis




Risks of hospital admission, anaesthesia, failure to improve symptoms, bleeding, septal haematoma/abscess, loss of sense of smell/taste, teeth numbness, septal perforation, late cosmetic change (nasal saddling) (0.5%).


Turbinate reduction surgery


Removal of most of the inferior turbinate or the entire turbinate. 




Turbinate enlargement that has failed medical treatment (may be performed as part of other nasal procedures), and usually other surgical treatments too.

See the images below (left pre turbinate resection. Right image shows the improved sinus drainage into the middle meatus post removal of middle turbinate).


Nasal polypectomy


This is the surgical removal of nasal polyps. This may be performed manually or with an automatic debrider and rigid nasendoscope.




Nasal polyposis resistant to medical treatment




Risks of hospital admission, anaesthesia, failure of the surgery/ recurrence of symptoms with only temporary relief, bleeding, nasal discharge, dryness and crusting.

The images below show a series of clinical images taken intraoperatively during a nasal polypectomy


The first image shows a view into the left nasal cavity. We can see a large nasal polyp blocking our view of the middle meatus and turbinates.

The primary symptom in this patient is treatment resistant nasal obstruction


Image 2 shows mid polypectomy. The polyp is removed to clear the nasal cavity.


The final image shows a clear nasal passage with a good view under the middle turbinate. Air flow through the cavity will now be dramatically improved


The removed polyp. Note its smooth fleshy appearance. 


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