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Sphenoid Sinus Surgery at Our Los Angeles Center

Sinusitis ranks as the most common chronic medical condition in the United States — and for people who suffer from it, the near-constant congestion, difficulty breathing and headache pain can be difficult to bear. In many cases, sinusitis responds well to treatment with antibiotics, antifungal medications or steroids, but if recurrent sinus infections don’t respond to medications, surgery may be able to remove some of the diseased or swollen tissues to open up blocked airways and improve breathing.

The sphenoid sinus is one of the largest sinuses in the nose and is also the one deepest in the nasal passage, making it a bit of a challenge to access surgically. It’s also the one that neighbors the cranial cavity and the pituitary gland, so surgeons must tread carefully and precisely to avoid causing significant damage beyond the sinuses.

How It Works

That’s why the skilled surgeons at miVIP Surgery Centers who perform sphenoid sinus surgery rely heavily on image-guided surgical techniques to help ensure that they get an accurate picture of the anatomy involved and remove any tissue that’s diseased or blocking the nasal passage without impacting the surrounding healthy tissue. The Medtronics Navigation system utilized by miVIP surgeons allows the doctors to more easily and precisely navigate the sinus passages and remove the necessary tissue to allow for proper sinus drainage and an open passageway. It makes surgery easier and more precise, and reduces the risks of complications.

Before you undergo sphenoid sinus surgery, your doctor will get a series of images of your sinus passages using both a CT scan and an endoscope. These images will help him see any malformations in your sinuses and polyps or swelling that could be causing your chronic sinusitis. In many cases, problems with the sphenoid sinus aren’t isolated, so you may be looking at a more complex sinus surgery that involves other sinuses in addition to the sphenoid.

In most cases, surgeons who work on the sphenoid sinus use endoscopes, which are thin tubes outfitted with lighted cameras, in order to delve into the sinus and locate the areas of concern. This is often used in conjunction with the Medtronic Navigation system to help surgeons see exactly where their instruments are and minimize the possibility of hitting the sensitive tissues surrounding the sinus.


Sphenoid sinus surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia, and it’s an outpatient procedure. After the surgery, you’ll have some swelling inside the sinuses, but little to no swelling or bruising apparent on the outside. During recovery, you can expect to have some sinus pain, headaches and congestion for a few weeks after the procedure, plus discharge for a few days immediately after the surgery. You may be able to return to work within a few days after the surgery, but you should avoid blowing your nose, flying or strenuous activities for a few weeks after the surgery to give your sinuses a chance to heal.

Sphenoid sinus surgery can be extremely successful at opening your airway and minimizing the risk of future sinus infections. Most patients find that they’re breathing much easier after the procedure.

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