Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (known as FESS) aims to open and widen the natural sinus drainage pathways into the nose. It is performed under general anaesthetic as a day case. The procedure usually takes 30-45 minutes.
A small endoscope is inserted into the nose and the sinus drainage pathways are opened with a powered instrument called a microdebrider. This minimises trauma to the lining of the nose, thus reducing pain and bleeding.
Small nasal dressings are usually left inside the nose for 2 hours and removed before the patient goes home. Steroid nose drops and antibiotics are usually prescribed afterwards.
Patients are advised to take 2 weeks off work. It is not advised to fly until at least 4-6 weeks after surgery.
It is usually necessary to continue to take a regular steroid nasal spray long term after surgery.