Why am I still getting sick after sinus surgery?
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Doctor Answers 1
I usually counsel my patients that people who are predisposed to sinus infections usually have a combination of factors that cause this:
1) blockages (narrow sinus openings), and
2) inflammation in the lining of the nose and sinuses (caused by allergy, irritants, infection such as cold viruses, or chronic sinusitis).
Surgery is great at improving the blockages and allowing the sinuses to breathe and drain properly, but it does nothing in and of itself to improve the health of the lining of the nose. However, because the sinuses are open, we can deliver medicines to help with inflammation such as high potency steroid solutions and antibiotics, and help to prevent infection.Infection after sinus surgery is common; I usually counsel my patients that roughly half of the patients will experience a minor infection in the first two months after surgery. Make sure to visit your surgeon, who will likely want to perform endoscopy, and obtain a culture. This will help to make sure you are on the right antibiotics. Your surgeon will also direct you towards other medical treatments such as nasal steroid sprays and sinus rinses. Chronic sinusitis is a chronic disease. Sinus surgery does not cure it (in most cases), but instead makes it easier to manage and improves quality of life.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.