In the last few years laser surgery options have increased dramatically. One of the areas of medicine that have improved in regards to laser surgery is surgeries for the nose. Allergy sufferers can find relief in this regard as well, because laser surgery for sinusitis has become more common in recent years.
Sinusitis is a medical term used to describe the inflammation of the sinuses. Common symptoms of sinusitis include headaches and overall 'stuffiness' that can occur due to illness or allergic reactions to things such as dust or pollen. Sneezing and coughing may occur as well.
How Does a Laser Help Sinusitis?
The sinuses can become inflamed due to infection, irritants such as pollen, and other issues. When the sinuses are irritated a structure inside of the nose known as turbinates will swell and expand due to the increased blood flow to the area. This blood flow is caused by the body attempting to remove the issue.
The turbinates are important structures in the nose; they warm the air we breathe prior to entering the lungs. Further, they act as both a filter and a baffle. The filter part is taken care of by the cilia, tiny hairs that attempt to catch irritants and disease before they reach a point further into the body. The baffle part references the turbinates' capacity to help direct the flow of air into the body.
The turbinates should not be removed entirely, they serve an important purpose. However, they can be reduced if necessary. A laser can be used to perform this scaling back of the turbinates via a process known as SMR. The term SMR references sub-mucosal resection. An endoscopic laser will be inserted into the nose and used to shrink the blood vessels found beneath the outer skin of the turbinates. Swelling and other issues will be reduced.
The SMR procedure will involve a local anesthetic, and can take 15 minutes. It is an outpatient procedure. Most people will be able to go home after an hour. The effectiveness of this sinusitis treatment is roughly 70%. Most people completely recover from the surgery after two days, and within a few weeks chronic sinusitis sufferers will normally see a reduction in symptoms.
While the procedure will not completely remove the issue of sinusitis, most people note a drop in their symptoms. Drainage issues will be lessened and headaches will not occur as frequently. Due to the effectiveness of this procedure, it is generally reserved for true chronic sinusitis sufferers. It will not normally be recommended for short-term suffers, such as allergic reactions to pollen during allergy season. However, if the sinusitis flare-up is severe enough that it becomes impossible to breathe through the nose, the need for this surgery may increase.Share
19 March 2015
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