ZocdocAnswersAre there alternatives to sinus surgery that can relieve pressure and congestion?

Question

Are there alternatives to sinus surgery that can relieve pressure and congestion?

I am a 29 year old female who has had three sinus surgeries in the past two years. I developed a post op infection after the first surgery and scar tissue closed off my maxillary and ethmoid sinuses. The last two surgeries were directly related to pain and pressure from these closed off sinuses. I continue to have problems with sinus infections and pressure. I am not very compliant with daily meds and therefore am not on any daily nasal sprays. I treat with pain medications and decongestants as needed. Is there anything that can be done as an alternative to another surgery or that can be done following a surgery to improve my healing and insure that the surgery may be the last?

Answer

I am very sorry to hear that you have had such problems with your sinuses. The fact that you have already had multiple surgeries, and that at least one of these surgeries was complicated by scar tissue requiring a second procedure, means that you must have good and consistent followup with an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT doctor). Only they will be qualified to manage the complications you have had and continue to have. That being said, you have already answered your question in part by admitting that you are not very compliant with daily medications. The mainstay of treatment of sinus complications is prevention, not treatment. Various nasal sprays (steroids usually) and nasal washing treatments (such as saline sprays) are the most basic and effective methods for preventing recurring sinus troubles. They work by preventing the swelling and mucus plugging that lead to pressure and congestion. Waiting to take decongestants and pain medications when you have symptoms is not a good treatment method. It would be best to talk to your ENT doctor about what daily medications you should be taking and them make certain that you use a method (such as a cell phone alarm) to remind yourself to take them regularly.

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