Stealth Sinus Surgery in Kirkland, WA
Sinusitis is a common condition that causes uncomfortable symptoms due to inflammation in the lining of the sinuses. In many cases, sinusitis clears up with medication or simple home remedies. Sometimes, however, sinusitis becomes chronic, lasting much longer than usual. Left untreated, chronic sinusitis can negatively affect a person’s quality of life and can lead to serious health complications such as meningitis or the loss of one’s sense of smell. Patients with chronic sinusitis who have not been able to find relief through conservative measures may require sinus surgery.
Here at NW Face Medical, Dr. Ludwig Allegra performs stealth sinus surgery for patients in Kirkland, Seattle, and Bellevue who would like to resolve their chronic sinusitis and improve their overall quality of life.
Acute Sinusitis vs. Chronic Sinusitis
When a patient has acute sinusitis, their symptoms are temporary and last no more than eight to twelve weeks. They often experience pressure and pain in the face, congestion, and thick, discolored mucus. In most cases, these symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter medications and simple home remedies.
Chronic sinusitis, however, can last anywhere from twelve weeks to years. Since it involves higher levels of inflammation in the sinuses, it is much more difficult to treat than acute sinusitis. The most common symptoms of chronic sinusitis are thick, discolored mucus, congestion, pain and tenderness around the forehead, nose, cheeks, and eyes, and a diminished sense of taste and smell.
While the symptoms of chronic sinusitis are often less severe than those of acute sinusitis, if they are not treated on a consistent basis, they can lead to complications and require correction with a surgical procedure such as stealth sinus surgery.
Causes of Sinusitis
In healthy sinuses, there is a thin layer of mucus that drains on a regular basis and prevents buildup. When sinusitis occurs, however, the inflammation blocks normal drainage. Often, this is the result of a minor infection that occurs as the result of a cold or bacteria. Allergies to substances such as mold, dust, and pollen can also cause swelling and inflammation in the nasal and sinus areas. Nasal polyps, which are tissue growths that can obstruct the sinuses, or infected or enlarged adenoids may lead to sinusitis as well.
Treatment of Sinusitis
Initially, conservative treatments are recommended to patients who are coping with acute sinusitis or even chronic symptoms. Medications such as a saline nasal spray, over-the-counter decongestants, pain relievers like Advil and Tylenol, and antibiotics may help.
If allergies are found to play a role in a patient’s sinusitis, immunotherapy may be a good option. During this treatment, patients take allergy shots to alter the way their immune system responds to mold, pollen, grass, and other allergens. This process takes a lot of commitment but can help relieve symptoms over time and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Lifestyle remedies such as getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of water, breathing in vapor from a bowl of hot water, applying warm compresses, and sleeping with an elevated head may also help.
Dr. Allegra may suggest stealth sinus surgery if these conservative treatments prove minimally effective or completely ineffective.
Good Candidates for Stealth Sinus Surgery
Stealth sinus surgery may be a viable treatment option for patients with chronic sinusitis who have not found relief through conservative measures like medications, immunotherapy, and lifestyle remedies. If a patient is experiencing severe facial pain and pressure, congestion coughing, fatigue, and changes in taste and smell, they may be good candidates for this procedure.
What to Expect During a Consultation
A private stealth sinus surgery consultation in Kirkland with Dr. Allegra is the first step toward relief for patients with chronic sinusitis who have not had any luck with conservative treatments. During a consultation, Dr. Allegra will review the patient’s medical history and conduct a thorough evaluation of their sinuses through a physical exam and imaging tests.
If he believes a patient is a good candidate for this procedure, he’ll explain how it works and go over what is involved in the recovery process. Patients are encouraged to ask any questions they may have regarding the procedure, the recovery, and the anticipated results.
How Stealth Sinus Surgery Works
Stealth sinus surgery patients at our Kirkland facility can look forward to a safer, more comfortable sinus surgery experience. Traditional sinus surgery is a very complex procedure because the sinuses are so close to the brain, eyes, and major arteries. Additionally, the incisions in the mouth and face can make traditional sinus surgery uncomfortable and painful.
For these reasons, Dr. Allegra has moved away from traditional sinus surgery and now performs image-guided or stealth surgical procedures. Similar to endoscopic sinus surgery but using different technology, stealth sinus surgery allows Dr. Allegra to reduce the risk of the complications associated with traditional techniques, ensure a better result, and successfully complete challenging procedures. Thanks to image guidance, Dr. Allegra can clearly see internal nasal structures during surgery and precisely control the outcome with less trauma to the nasal and sinus tissues.
Once Dr. Allegra takes a CT scan of the patient’s sinuses, he’ll design a road map of their skull and match the CT image with the probe’s position. During stealth sinus surgery, he will insert a tiny probe into the patient’s nose while he correlates its position with the CT scan that is shown on a large screen. The innovative image guidance system will display the location of the tip of the probe so that Dr. Allegra can navigate safely through tricky areas.
Dr. Allegra likes to refer to the image guidance system as a GPS because it can allow him to be precise while he performs surgery on the critical structures of the sinuses without opening everything up.
Recovering From Stealth Sinus Surgery
After stealth sinus surgery, most patients feel comfortable enough to return to work and their daily activities within a few days. For the initial 24 hours after the procedure, Dr. Allegra will encourage patients to stay away from nose blowing or any strenuous activities or exercise that may increase their heart rate. He may also prescribe a saline solution that should be used to rinse the nasal passage for several days after surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stealth Sinus Surgery
How popular is stealth sinus surgery?
Stealth sinus surgery is now known as an industry standard for chronic sinusitis treatment. It is endorsed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-NHS).
Why is traditional sinus surgery a challenge?
Even if a surgeon is highly experienced and has detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the sinuses, traditional surgery can be difficult to perform. This is because the sinuses are so close to the brain and many patients with chronic sinusitis are living with one or more medical conditions or have had a previous surgical procedure. Stealth surgery is a much safer alternative.
Is stealth sinus surgery painful?
Stealth sinus surgery is far more comfortable than traditional sinus surgery. However, every patient has a different level of pain tolerance. Dr. Allegra will discuss with patients what type of pain to expect and may prescribe oral pain pills if necessary.
How common is sinusitis?
More than 37 million American suffer from sinusitis each year. This condition is likely so common because of increased pollution and resistance to antibiotics.
What do the sinuses do?
The sinuses are used to humidify and warm the air we breathe and assist with our sense of smell. In addition, they produce mucus, which is responsible for cleaning and moisturizing the nasal passages.
Will smoking affect recovery from sinus stealth sinus surgery?
Smoking can significantly affect a patient’s recovery from stealth sinus surgery. If a patient smokes, they may develop pneumonia and find that the treated areas become infected or do not heal properly. For this reason, Dr. Allegra requires that patients quit smoking at least two weeks before the surgery and refrain from this habit after the procedure.
What is a deviated septum?
Some patients with chronic sinusitis have a deviated septum that is contributing to their inflammation. The septum is a wall of cartilage and bone that divides the nose into two chambers. When a septum is deviated (typically a problem people are born with), it means the structure is crooked. A different surgery may be recommended to patients with this condition.
Is it necessary to take time off of work after sinus stealth surgery?
Dr. Allegra suggests that patients take at least a few days off work if possible so they can relax and heal in comfort.
Are there any risks with stealth sinus surgery?
Just like all surgical procedures, stealth sinus surgery does come with some risks. These risks include bleeding, post-operative discharge, spinal fluid leak, swelling, bruising, and loss of vision. The good news is that these risks are drastically reduced when stealth sinus surgery is performed, rather than traditional sinus surgery. Choosing a skilled ear, nose, and throat surgeon like Dr. Allegra to perform the surgery further reduces these risks.
How can sinusitis be prevented?
Sinusitis usually develops from the common cold so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of frequent hand washing to help prevent illness. People who are prone to sinusitis may also benefit from using a humidifier to ensure the sinuses stay moist. In addition, quitting smoking can reduce the risk of sinusitis.
Why Choose NW Face Medical?
If you are frustrated with treatments that aren’t resolving your chronic sinusitis, stealth sinus surgery from NW Face Medical may be just what you need to find relief. Dr. Allegra is a board-certified surgeon and ear nose and throat specialist who has been practicing in the Seattle area since 1983.
He is committed to staying on top of the latest and greatest innovations in surgery and considers stealth sinus surgery an excellent alternative to traditional sinus surgery. He has extensive experience with this procedure and finds great joy in helping patients in Kirkland, Bellevue, and surrounding areas with chronic sinusitis find the relief they deserve.
Schedule a Consultation at NW Face Medical
If you are tired of living life with chronic sinusitis and you’re ready for a permanent solution, you owe it to yourself to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Allegra at NW Face Medical. Call us in Seattle at 206.525.2525 today. We look forward to hearing from you!