During endoscopic sinus surgery, the doctor inserts an instrument called an endoscope into the nose, allowing him to see inside the sinuses, notes WebMD. He inserts surgical instruments alongside the endoscope to remove bone or other materials that are inhibiting sinus function.
An endoscope is very thin and flexible, and has a light that allows doctors to view sinuses during endoscopic sinus surgeries, states WebMD. Along with bone and other obstructions in the sinuses, doctors may remove growths of the mucous membrane during endoscopic sinus surgery. They may also use lasers to burn away tissues that are blocking sinuses, or rotating instruments to scrape away tissue. Doctors use endoscopic sinus surgery when medications have not alleviated the symptoms of conditions such as chronic sinusitis. This surgery can improve sinus symptoms in about 90 percent of patients, though some may require multiple surgeries to eliminate their sinusitis.
Doctors can normally complete endoscopic sinus surgeries in between 30 and 90 minutes, and they may do the procedures in hospitals, clinics or in their offices, according to WebMD. People usually experience minor discomfort lasting for about two weeks following their surgeries, and may have to visit their doctors so they can remove dried blood and mucus. People typically experience less scarring with endoscopic surgery rather than traditional sinus surgery, and the procedure may be cheaper due to shorter hospital stays and recovery periods.