Your head has four paired sinuses, air-filled cavities within your skull connected by narrow passages. These sinuses produce a sticky mucus that drains out of the passages in your nose, helping to keep your nose clean and free of allergens (allergy-causing substances) and pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissue lining your sinuses, causing them to become blocked and filled with fluid. The blockage leads to pressure and pain in your face, nasal congestion (a stuffy nose), pressure, and a decreased sense of smell. There are different forms of sinusitis:
- Acute sinusitis: symptoms last less than four weeks and usually caused by viruses like the common cold
- Subacute sinusitis: symptoms last 4-12 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis: symptoms last at least 12 weeks and usually caused by bacteria
- Recurrent acute sinusitis: symptoms recur four or more times a year, lasting less than two weeks each time
At Oasis Ear, Nose, and Throat, otolaryngologists Dr. James Osborne and Dr. Bryan Smedley diagnose and treat all types of sinus problems and nasal congestion, including sinusitis and nasal polyps. While we offer nonsurgical and surgical treatment options, we’re particularly enthusiastic about the SINUVA sinus implant. Here’s what we want you to know.
What are nasal polyps?
Before discussing the implant, we need to cover some other structural and functional topics about the sinuses.
Nasal polyps are benign, painless growths that form inside the nose or sinuses. While small nasal polyps might not produce symptoms, larger polyps, or collections of polyps, can block the nose, leading to breathing problems, loss of smell, and chronic infections.
Sometimes, medications can shrink nasal polyps, but some cases require surgery. Even after treatment, though, nasal polyps are prone to come back.
What is an ethmoidectomy?
The ethmoid sinuses lie between your eyes and the bridge of your nose. They’re important in helping your body deal with most sinus infections because all the other sinuses drain through or next to them. If your ethmoid sinuses become blocked, the infection can spread to the other sinuses.
An ethmoidectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes infected tissue and bone in the ethmoid sinuses that block proper drainage. The surgeon views your ethmoid sinuses using an endoscope, a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and light at the end; the camera links to a monitor that allows for an enlarged view of the area.
Once he can visualize the affected area, he uses a microdebrider, a tool with a tiny rotating tip, to remove affected tissue and bone without damaging healthy tissue.
So, what’s this about SINUVA sinus treatment?
SINUVA isn’t surgery. It’s a stent deployed in your sinuses that releases a prescription steroid (mometasone furoate) to calm inflammation, swelling, and polyp formation. The manufacturer describes it as “a prescription steroid-releasing implant indicated for the treatment of nasal polyps in patients 18 years or older who have had ethmoid sinus surgery.”
Even though sinus surgery removes nasal polyps and improves nasal drainage, it’s common for nasal polyps to grow back, inflammation to flare up, and the ethmoid sinuses to get blocked again, leaving you feeling back at square one.
But you’re not. SINUVA specifically addresses the problems of chronic nasal polyps and failed ethmoid sinus surgery. Once implanted in the sinus during a routine office visit, it releases a targeted delivery of mometasone furoate over 90 days, after which we remove it. The steroid calms the inflammation and reduces swelling, reducing the pain and pressure behind your eyes.
If you’re struggling with sinus issues or difficulty breathing through your nose, it’s time to come into Oasis Ear, Nose, and Throat in Surprise, Arizona, for an evaluation and targeted treatment that may include SINUVA. To learn more or get started, call us at 623-207-7560 or book online today.