What is done if I have to have sinus surgery?

You should first understand that I am not a surgeon, so this is from the perspective of someone who has seen the surgery, and had the surgery done, but who doesn't do the surgery himself. The surgery, called functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), may be done either under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Many very experienced sinus surgeons prefer to use local anesthesia. The operation generally takes approximately 2-3 hours. During that period of time, the ear, nose and throat doctor will do any...

When should surgery be considered?

A small percentage of patients with chronic sinusitis will fail to improve even with the best medical treatment. In most studies of patients treated by allergists who specialize in treatment of chronic sinusitis, this is less than 10% of patients who have had optimal medical treatment. It is important to realize, however, that surgery is frequently performed on patients who have not had the best medical treatment prior to surgery. This web site is one of many attempts to educate physicians and the public ab...

Can you do a culture to find out what bacteria are causing sinus infection?

Unlike most infections ( for example a strep throat), where it is possible to determine the exact bacteria by doing a simple culture, it is not possible to simply take a culture from your nose to determine what the cause is of the sinus infections. The bacteria inside the nose which we could theoretically culture are not the same as the bacteria growing in the sinuses unless you have previously had sinus surgery. It is possible to take a culture from the drainage area of the sinuses, but this is something w...

Alternate sinus treatments

Although antibiotics are important to use in treatment of sinus infections, it is extremely important to allow the mucus in the sinuses to drain adequately. The way this is done is to use nasal sprays containing small amounts of cortisone to reduce the inflammation inside the nose and around the ostia (the opening from the sinuses into the nose). (There is minimal absorption of any of the cortisone nasal sprays into the body and so they are very safe). there is a list of the various steroid nasal sprays in ...

Why do we have sinuses?

The sinuses are air pockets located inside the bones in the skull. They are located to either side of the nose (maxillary), behind and in between the eyes (ethmoid), in the forehead (frontal), and there is one much further back in the head (sphenoid). (For a better understanding of this, please look at the CT scan page when you finish reading this page.) They are probably present to reduce the weight of the skull as well as to create resonance to the voice. The sinuses are lined with very fine hair-like pro...

My topical treatment seems to work on the spots I treat, but I keep getting new acne blemishes. What should I do?

Topical acne medications are made to be used on all acne-prone areas, not just individual lesions. Part of the goal is to treat the skin before lesions can form and to prevent formation, not just to treat existing lesions. Patients are generally advised to treat all of the areas (forehead, cheeks, chin and nose) that tend to break out rather than just individual lesions.