Fess (Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery)

About the Sinuses

Your sinuses are air filled spaces at the front of your skull, between your eyes and above your upper jaw that are connected to the inside of your nose. Sinusitis is an infection of the mucous membrane that lines your sinuses and causes symptoms of pain, blocked nose, discharge, reduced sense of smell and feeling of mucus at the back of your nose or throat. In some patients, an operation to improve drainage of the sinuses into the nasal cavity is helpful. This operation is known as a FESS (Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery).

Who does the operation?

Mr Steve McDonald, Mr Darren Pinder and Mr Stuart Gillett are our consultants who are able to carry out FESS procedures. They take place under general anaesthetic the operation takes approximately 1 hour.

Before the Operation

You can help to ensure success of your operation and avoid complications by following a few simple steps.  Stop smoking (if you do) at least 4 weeks prior to the procedure.   Maintain a healthy weight and taking regular exercise.

The Operation

The operation is performed through your nostrils and does not result in any facial scars or change in the shape of your nose. Using a telescope, the surgeon will examine your nasal passages, remove any polyps and widen the passages from your sinuses into your nose. You may have some nasal packing inserted at the end of the operation to control bleeding. This is usually removed by the nursing staff a few hours after the operation.

After the operation

After the procedure you may experience some pain and the nursing team will give you pain medication to help control this. You may experience bleeding after the procedure. Vigorous nose blowing should be avoided for the first week after the operation, as this may cause a nosebleed. Rinsing the nose with saline will help to clear the blood and mucous – your surgeon will explain how to do this. You must not drive, operate machinery or do any potentially dangerous activities (including cooking) for at least 24 hours. Do not sign any legal documents or drink alcohol for at least 24 hours.

Is a follow up appointment required?

A follow up appointment is normally required but if your consultant feels that you need a follow up appointment then he will send an appointment letter out to you.