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How Effective is the FESS Procedure for Fixing Sinus Problems?

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) is an advanced type of surgery that may be recommended if you have sinus problems that aren’t being effectively managed by conservative therapies. The Yeung Institute for Houston Sinus Surgery is one of the top providers of the FESS procedure in the Houston area. Dr. Cecil Yeung developed this surgical treatment in Houston and has performed over 4,000 sinus surgeries with exceptional, long-lasting results.

Nonsurgical therapies will always be the first treatments explored for sinus problems. In some cases, however, medication is not effective enough or causes unwanted symptoms. Under these circumstances, a FESS procedure may be recommended.

In this blog, Dr. Cecil Yeung will address what FESS sinus surgery involves and its effectiveness in fixing sinus problems.

What is FESS?

Through FESS, Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, I surgically recreate functional sinus pathways for my patients. I utilize precise endoscopic imaging through the nostrils that allows me to fully visualize the area without making any facial incisions. This procedure provides long-term physiological relief by restoring proper sinus drainage and normal mucosa integrity.

Why would the FESS procedure be recommended?

FESS is a definitive treatment that I recommend for patients who have not had success with medical therapies such as antibiotics, nasal sprays, and systemic steroids or have had unsuccessful surgical procedures such as failed balloon sinuplasties and FESS.

Patients who have sinus problems related to or caused by the following issues may be good candidates for the FESS procedure:

  • Chronic sinusitis – a sinus infection lasting more than 12 weeks
  • Deviated septum – an off-center or crooked partition between your nostrils, which can cause difficulty breathing and nasal obstruction. Occasionally this is associated with anatomical sinus malformation.
  • Nasal polyps – severe mucosal swelling in sinuses that protrudes into the nasal cavities as teardrop growths which can block the entire nasal passageway and create constant drainage and infection.

FESS may also be a good option for patients who are suffering from ongoing sinus problems that cause related symptoms such as severe nasal congestion, sinus pressure, post-nasal drip, sinus headaches, migraine, and breathing issues.

What does the FESS surgical procedure involve?

I perform FESS as an outpatient procedure at my state-of-the-art surgery center. This allows my patients to experience a hospital-level surgery environment and operating room but enjoy greater comfort, convenience, and privacy. FESS is performed through the nostrils, so it requires no facial incisions. Most patients experience no bruising or swelling post operatively. My patients go home the same day with only mild discomfort.

Before the procedure, I perform a state of art CT (“computed tomography”) sinus scan in my office to help plan the procedure and provide anatomical guidance during surgery. The scan is extremely low radiation and takes only a few minutes.

During surgery, I use an endoscope (a very thin tube with a tiny camera) to examine the openings in the sinuses. I then remove abnormal tissues or bony structures that are causing blockages using micro-telescopes and instruments. When the procedure is complete, sinus openings are enlarged and unblocked, allowing them to drain effectively.

How effective is FESS?

FESS endoscopic sinus surgery is a highly effective procedure since it targets and treats the underlying problem areas. With my years of experience performing these sinus procedures, I permanently eliminate the blockages causing the sinus problems. Given the number of cases I have performed, there are virtually no nasal structures or situations I have not seen and corrected. I would also point out that FESS is much more precise than balloon sinuplasty, for instance, given the method that is used and the computer aided images that provide visibility into the nasal cavity.

Over my 20+ years of practice, I have performed more than 4,000 sinus surgeries with exceptional results. Nearly all of my patients’ sinus problems are relieved with just one procedure. And the impact is truly life changing for them – they breathe better and feel healthy again. I also do many redo sinus surgeries, especially redos of surgeries done by sinus surgeons who do not have the years of experience that I have. Nationally, approximately 25% to 30% of patients who have sinus surgery need a second surgery. By contrast, my redo rate is extremely low; I would peg it around 1%.

How do I evaluate a sinus surgeon for FESS in Houston?

The most important decision when doing FESS surgery is choosing the right surgeon. When you’re considering a FESS procedure, there’s no substitute for experience. My patients can be confident in knowing they’re in the hands of a doctor who pioneered FESS in Houston. I introduced FESS to the area and have performed thousands of these types of surgeries. I also have extensive experience and expertise in performing complicated first-time surgeries and revision sinus surgeries.

If you’re suffering from chronic sinusitis or other sinus problems that aren’t responding to conservative therapies like antibiotics, nasal sprays, balloon sinuplasty or failed FESS, request a consultation with Dr. Yeung today. We look forward to helping you restore normal breathing so you can live fully, free from sinus symptoms.

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