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Which Type of Sinus Surgery Do I Need?

man with sinus painIf you’ve been suffering from ongoing nasal and sinus issues that are causing severe symptoms despite an attempt to treat them, your doctor may recommend sinus surgery.

In this blog, the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors at New York ENT will explain more about sinus surgery, including which type you might need.

What is sinus surgery?

Sinus surgery is performed to open up the sinuses and expand their airway to relieve ongoing sinus problems and to help prevent future issues. It’s often recommended when you have severe ongoing symptoms that are interfering with your quality of life and aren’t responding well to medication or other remedies such as saline sprays.

Sinus surgeries can provide long-term relief from symptoms, and in many cases, the surgery is minimally invasive.

What type of sinus surgery do you need?

The type of surgery you need depends on the exact issue that’s causing your symptoms. The following are some common types of sinus surgery and the conditions they help correct:


This procedure removes nasal polyps – noncancerous growths that can block your nasal passages. They can keep your sinuses from draining normally and are often related to chronic sinus infections, allergies, or asthma.

A polypectomy is performed in-office and requires only local anesthesia. Your doctor uses a suction device called a microdebrider to precisely remove your polyps through your nostrils.

Balloon Sinuplasty

This procedure can treat chronic sinusitis by clearing your sinus passages of mucus and pus and by widening the area to allow for easier drainage.

Your doctor uses an endoscope – a thin, flexible lighted tube with a small camera on the end – that’s inserted through your nostrils. A tiny balloon catheter is inflated and then removed, making the area clear and widened.

Turbinate reduction

Nasal turbinates are ridges of tissue inside your nose, and they serve an important function – to humidify and help cleanse the air that enters your nose and travels to your lungs. In some cases, however, turbinates are too large and create blockages that can cause issues such as chronic sinusitis and obstructive sleep apnea.

Your doctor will use an instrument that precisely targets and treats your turbinates with radiofrequency energy. The excess turbinate will be removed, but nearby tissue, as well as the turbinates’ ability to function well, will be preserved.


The septum is a wall of cartilage that separates your two nostrils, and in some cases, it can be severely off-center and interfere with your breathing. A severely deviated septum can also cause problems with drainage from your sinuses.

During a septoplasty, the septum is straightened and repositioned, and parts may be removed if needed. The result is a marked improvement in nasal airflow.

What are the benefits of sinus surgery?

  • Fixes the underlying cause of your nasal and sinus symptoms
  • Provides long-term relief
  • Reduces or eliminates the need for medication
  • Often utilizes minimally invasive techniques that can usually be performed in-office

If you’re experiencing severe or long-term nasal and sinus issues, make an appointment today with one of our board-certified New York ENT physicians. We’ll help you get the diagnosis and treatment you need to start breathing better.

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