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Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), is an effective, long-term minimally invasive surgery for severe chronic or recurring sinus infections. We are one of the leading surgery providers for FESS and other similar ENT procedures required to effectively and safely treat sinusitis.

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), is an effective, long-term minimally invasive surgery for ... Read More

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  • What is Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?

    An endoscopic sinus surgery procedure is usually performed to remove blockages and treat other problems in the sinuses using an endoscope (a thin, rigid tube with a camera and a light). This surgical procedure does not involve cutting the skin because it is performed entirely through the nostrils.

    Endoscopic sinus surgery is a highly effective surgery with a success rate of 80-90%. It is extremely safe and can be easily performed in kids above 2 years of age. However, proper care after sinus surgery is necessary to ensure they do not suffer from long-term sinus complications or breathing issues.

    • Disease name


    • Surgery name

    Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)

    • Duration

    1 - 2 hours

    • Treated by

    ENT Surgeon (Otolaryngologists)

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    Who May Need Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?

    A healthcare provider usually suggests endoscopic sinus surgery if you have chronic sinus inflammation or a chronic sinus infection that doesn’t improve with medical treatments.

    Another significant sign you need sinus surgery is if you have nasal/sinus polyps or if the sinus infection has spread to the surrounding structures like facial bones, eyes, tonsils, brain, etc. In such cases, immediate sinus surgery is required to mitigate the damage.

    Benefit of Pristyn Care is that it has multiple ENT Clinics in all major Indian cities where ENT doctors provide expert consultation for sinus issues, hearing disorders, and other ear, nose and throat disorders.

    Are you going through any of these symptoms?

    Diagnostic Tests Before Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

    Sinusitis can be easily diagnosed because of its distinctive symptoms such as postnasal drip, facial heaviness, pain and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, or forehead, blocked nose, etc. However, a comprehensive diagnosis is necessary to determine a treatment plan, especially if the patient is not showing significant improvement through medical management. Common diagnostic tests performed for sinusitis are:

    • Nasal endoscopy
    • Lab analysis of nasal and sinus discharge
    • Imaging tests like CT scans, X-rays, etc.

    These tests help determine the cause of sinus infection and whether the patient has a deviated nasal septum or nasal polyps that may be contributing to the condition.

    Benefits of Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

    Sinusitis surgery provides numerous benefits for individuals facing severe or recurrent sinusitis symptoms. Here are some advantages of sinusitis surgery:

    • Enhanced sinus drainage: This surgery helps in removing blockages or obstructions in the sinuses to improve mucus drainage. As a result, the frequency and severity of sinusitis symptoms get decreased.
    • Relief from chronic sinusitis symptoms: Consistent sinusitis symptoms such as facial pain, pressure, congestion, headaches, and post-nasal drip can be relieved by sinus surgery. It significantly improves overall well-being and the quality of life.
    • Improved response to medical treatments: Sinusitis surgery can improve the efficacy of drugs and other therapies for sinusitis by removing physical obstacles and enhancing sinus drainage. This enables more effective medicine delivery and absorption to the afflicted areas.
    • Correction of structural issues: A deviated septum, nasal polyps, or a nasal bone are examples of structural abnormalities in the sinuses or nasal passageways that are treated by sinus surgery. The procedure can help avoid or lessen the onset of chronic or recurrent sinusitis by addressing these problems.

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    Preparation Before Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

    • A healthcare provider usually suggests medications to reduce inflammation and infection of the sinuses before the surgery. Medications to reduce respiratory secretions are usually given the night before the surgery.
    • Patients who routinely take aspirin, anticoagulants, or NSAIDs should cease taking them at least two weeks before surgery since they increase the risk of bleeding.
    • You must avoid smoking for at least a month prior to surgery and for at least a month afterward since it prevents quick recovery.
    • The night before the procedure, you need to check into the hospital. You must avoid eating or drinking after midnight to avoid the chances of anesthesia-related complications. You can occasionally need intravenous liquid to stay hydrated.

    Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Recovery

    You must follow all the instructions provided by your healthcare provider to promote healing after the surgery. It may include wound care, medication usage, and nasal care.

    • You can expect discomfort, pain, and swelling after the surgery. But these symptoms can be managed with prescribed pain medications. Proper rest is crucial during this time to promote healing.
    • You must avoid excessive exercise during the recovery period as it can delay tissue healing. 
    • Nasal saline rinses or sprays can treat common nasal symptoms like congestion, discharge, or slight bleeding. 
    • You must attend all the scheduled follow-up appointments with your doctor to track your recovery and resolve any issues. The recovery period after surgery can vary depending on the specific condition.
    • For a successful and hassle-free recovery, it’s essential to follow all the instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

    Lifestyle Changes After Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

    After undergoing sinusitis surgery, a doctor usually suggests making certain lifestyle changes to promote healing and lower the chance of problems. Some common lifestyle changes are as follows:

    • Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help your immune system and sinuses overall. This involves managing stress, getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough rest.
    • To keep the nasal passages moist, remove mucus, and avoid crusting following surgery. Examples include gentle saline rinses or prescribed nasal sprays.
    • Avoiding irritants that aggravate sinus symptoms or slow down healing. You must avoid allergens, smoking, potent odors, and environmental contaminants that can irritate and inflame the nasal passages.
    • A healthcare provider usually advises using a saline solution for sinus irrigation to clear mucus and promote healing. To ensure safe and efficient sinus irrigation, it’s crucial to employ the right method and sterile tools.
    • It is important to adhere to the detailed post-operative instructions that your healthcare provider gives you. 
    • Avoid recognized triggers and maintain an allergen-free environment.

    Risk & Complications Associated with Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

    Some common risks and complications associated with endoscopic sinus surgery are as follows:

    • Bleeding: You can expect some bleeding for the first three to five days following sinus surgery. If you suffer continuous bleeding, gently inhale through your nose while tilting your head back slightly. You can use oxymetazoline nasal spray if the bleeding does not stop. 
    • Infection: Like any surgical procedure, endoscopic sinus surgery also carries a risk of infection There is a possibility of developing an infection at the surgical site or within the sinuses after the surgery. To minimize the risk of infection, a doctor usually prescribes antibiotics. 
    • Fatigue: You can feel tired for the first week after surgery. A doctor usually suggests taking proper rest for at least one week to promote recovery. 
    • Changes in smell or taste: There is a risk of temporary or permanent changes in the sense of smell or taste that can occur following sinus surgery. This can be due to disruption of the olfactory nerves or swelling of the nasal tissues.
    • Facial pain or pressure: You can expect facial pain or pressure immediately after surgery. This discomfort typically subsides with time, but in rare instances, it may persist.
    • Eye or vision problems: In some rare instances, sinusitis surgery can potentially lead to eye-related complications such as double vision, vision loss, or injury to the eye. Prompt medical attention is required in such cases.

    Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Cost

    The average cost of endoscopic sinus surgery in India is Rs. .  However, this is the estimated cost of sinusitis surgery, the final cost of surgery depends on various factors. Some common factors that can affect the cost of the surgery are:

    • City of the treatment
    • Choice of hospital
    • Total hospitalization cost
    • Severity of the condition
    • Diagnosis and evaluation cost
    • Post-surgery care 
    • Patient’s age and overall health condition
    • Surgeon’s fees
    • Insurance coverage

    Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?

    Yes, most companies in India cover the cost of sinusitis surgery. However, the specifics can vary from policy to policy. There are a few healthcare insurance providers in India that may cover sinusitis treatment:

    • Star Health Insurance
    • New Health Insurance
    • Bajaj Allianz
    • Religare
    • ICICI Lombard

    Questions to Ask Your Surgeon Before FESS Surgery

    Before undergoing FESS surgery, it is important to ask the following questions to your surgeon to have a better understanding of the procedure and the risks and complications associated with it:


    • Is Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) safe?
    • What is FESS surgery success rate?
    • What are the risks and complications associated with FESS surgery?
    • What is the duration of FESS surgery?
    • How effective is FESS sinus surgery?
    • What is FESS surgery recovery time?
    • What are the advantages of FESS surgery?
    • What are the indications of FESS surgery?
    • What precautions do I need to take after FESS surgery?
    • When can I resume my daily activities after undergoing FESS?
    • What are the risk factors for FESS surgery?
    • What are long-term FESS surgery complications?
    • What conditions are treated with FESS?
    • What are the different types of FESS surgery?
    • How long is FESS procedure?
    • What will happen if I prolong the FESS procedure?
    • When should I consult a healthcare provider after FESS surgery?

    FAQs Around Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

    Is Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) safe?

    FESS is a minimally invasive sinus surgery, i.e., very little tissue is removed during the surgery. Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) has a success rate of 80-90%, even in severe cases, and is generally considered to be a very safe procedure even in kids.

    Is FESS covered under health insurance?

    FESS is medically necessary to provide relief from chronic sinus and is usually covered by most major insurance providers. However, the extent of the coverage depends on the terms of the policy. 

    Can sinusitis recur even after FESS?

    Yes, you can get sinusitis even after surgery, but the chances of recurrence are very low, i.e., less than 4% in most cases. Even if a patient get sinusitis again, surgery can be easily repeated to provide relief.

    Why would I need a septoplasty for sinusitis treatment?

    Sometimes, if a patient has a deviated nasal septum, then they may need septoplasty in addition to FESS as nasal septal deviation contributes to accumulation of bacteria that can lead to sinusitis recurrence due to spread of infection after the surgery.

    Will sinus surgery improve my sense of smell?

    Yes, most patients have an improved sense of smell (and taste in some cases) after sinus surgery due to better flow of oxygenated air to these tissues. 

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    Content Reviewed By
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    Dr Nikhil Jain
    12 Years Experience Overall
    Last Updated : July 5, 2024