Sinus Surgery

Sinus surgery in AERD can also be referred to as “FESS” which stands for Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.  It usually entails some combination of nasal polyp removal and opening of the blocked sinus cavities.  Humans have four general sinus cavities (maxillary, ethmoid, sphenoid, and frontal).  Any or all of these may be affected in AERD and potentially could benefit from a surgical option.

If you have AERD, you have likely already had at least one and probably several sinus surgeries.  AERD provides an opportunity for ENT surgeons and allergists to work closely together.  When polyps and sinusitis have gotten out of control, frequently the only available option to get things back under control is surgery.  It is the job of your doctors though, to work together to come up with a plan to minimize the need for surgery going forward.  This frequently may include a recommendation for a change in medication, considering aspirin desensitization or other specialized treatment options.

The unfortunate truth though, is that AERD is a pretty aggressive form of sinus disease.  In one study, patients with AERD needed 10 x as many sinus surgeries as patients with “normal” polyps and sinusitis.  Although AERD can be controlled with a combination of medications, it is still possible that a need for a future sinus operation looms in the future for more severely affected individuals.