Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Sinus surgery has changed significantly over the years. The previous operations that were the norm such as a Caldwell Luc or inferior meatal antrostomies are unusual to perform nowadays. Our technique has been refined to encorporate the normal sinus drainage patterns which is what we refer to as ‘Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery’ or ‘FESS’.

What is interesting, when I teach General Practitioners who have had a good grounding in ENT Surgery, this newer approach to sinus surgery is not fully appreciated. This may be because it is simply a development that has occured since they had any formal ENT training so it is essential that we spread the word with this up to date form of treatment of the sinuses.

The treatment does not usually require any surgical scars and is performed through the nose using an endoscope, which is a thin rod that can allow the surgeon to visualise inside the nose and then instrument it. A variety of specialist instruments can then be used intranasally to open the natural drainage patterns of the sinuses and thus improve the symptoms of sinusitis by improving the natural drainage pattern and not creating an unnatural one.