When might I need sinus surgery?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
For most people, sinusitis or sinus infections go away after about a week or so. However, some people develop chronic sinus problems, or chronic sinusitis.
If you have sinusitis, it’s first recommended that you try medical treatments such as antibiotics, steroids and steroid sprays. You may have extensive tests. If that’s not working, there are a few indications for getting surgery:
  • chronic, persistent sinus problems -- i.e., lasting over a month
  • recurrent sinus infections -- including four or more infections in a year
  • frequent sinus headaches
  • airway blockage and obstruction, such as due to significant nasal septum deviations or adenoid hypertrophy
  • other problems such as abscesses or sinus tumors 
It’s always important to exhaust your medical options before opting for surgery. See an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT), who can guide you through your options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.