Sinus Surgery is it worth it? - Asthma Community ...

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Sinus Surgery is it worth it?

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
30 Replies

I had Sinusitis end of August last year for the first time after a cold it made my asthma unbearable. The GP gave me the wrong antibiotic which didn't treat it and it became chronic. I know this as I went to see an ENT Consultant who gave me another antibiotic and I had a CT scan which showed pansinusitis completely greyed out on one side (I paid to go Private as I was in agony and the wait on the NHS was too long). The trouble with acute sinusitis is if it's not treated quickly enough it can become chronic. It's now January and I still have pain in my nose and upper teeth currently no yellow/green mucus and I awake and go to bed with a blocked nose feeling fatigue too. I'm doing sinus rinses and have sprayed Nasonex on and off but it's still there the pain. I've had 2 rounds of antibiotics. Has anyone had the same experience and gone with surgery? I can't have the balloon surgery as I have an accessory maxillary ostium which means I have an opening in my sinus which could/will get bigger with a balloon. I've read lots of pros and cons on surgery and I'm still not sure whether it's worth it as the recovery is painful and there are risks. Any experiences please let me know.

30 Replies
Poobah profile image
Poobah

Has your GP or consultant tried a macrolide antibiotic long term (4 to 6 months) to deal with the ongoing sinus inflammation? They can work even though there's no longer an infection.I've only known friends who have had sinus operations for nasal polyps, but yours sounds like a completely different challenge. I had polyps for years and it took an extremely long time to tame them with steroid nasal sprays; at least twice a day, every day without fail. Letting the spray soak is key and can only happen by correct positioning of the head. This is a very useful video youtu.be/LOhmsn4gQMM

This ENT consultant has made other films, including one about clearing sinuses without surgery.

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50 in reply to Poobah

I've been on antibiotics the last 6 months 6 rounds now a very strong antibiotic (Zithromax) and the pus keeps returning with facial pain on the side where the deviated septum is narrowest. The CT scanned pansinusitis with complete opacification of every sinus on the right hand side the facial pain was unbearable affected my vision couldn't see to drive especially at night. No polyps. Also some fluid in the left maxillary I have a small accessory ostium so no balloon surgery as this could make it bigger (this is a small opening quite common in 40% of population). The Consultant said surgery definitely needed to open up the sinuses and fix the deviated septum if I stay on antibiotics I will become bacteria resistant. I'm middle aged so I'd rather get it fixed now then deal with this in my 60's, 70's.

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to PeakyBlinder50

Zithromax is the brand name for Azithromycin, so you've had one of the most effective antibiotics for infection and inflammation. It sounds like you have a thorough and very good ENT surgeon. The op may sound daunting but necessary, given your ongoing symptoms and treatment to date. As for pain, don't hesitate to ask for ongoing pain relief at home - you'll get good immediate post op pain relief at the hospital but stress that you want the option of something strong enough to take home in order to get through the first week or so. I've been quite stubborn in the past and been able to talk the dr into sending me home with liquid morphine )and strict instructions on how to use safely). I would also try a low omega 6 diet while recovering - it can be an inflammatory for some asthmatics with rhinitis problems. While a necessary fatty acid, we now consume far too much, as soya and plant based oils are so so prevalent in our diets. Try and avoid NSAIDs too (aspirin, ibuprofen etc), in the event that you're sensitive to them. Your current ENT consultant may run an aspirin sensitivity test if you ask them, just to rule it out.

All the best for your surgery - keep us posted.

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50 in reply to Poobah

Thank you. I think these open honest discussions are so valuable and I really appreciate everyone's view and experiences as times have changed since COVID myself I'm learning more about my asthma and it's inflammatory properties. I had no idea that sinusitis was a comorbidity of asthma. I'm happy to update post operatively how it went and with the recovery for anyone else who is suffering with sinusitis.

Lb5617 profile image
Lb5617 in reply to PeakyBlinder50

I had exact type symptoms you described. My CT showed complete gray in all sinus cavities. I had been having severe sinus infections for at least 6 months (since 1/22). I had been treated with 4 different antibiotics and steroids. Nothing worked.

ENT said surgery was only option. Did this 8/2/22. It was horrendous recovery. Culture showed pseudomonas bacteria. Took 2 week course of Cipro. I’m now 1 month and a week out and can now breath. I’m not sure the bacteria is cured. But I also have asthma which had gotten severe.

I’m just writing to say surgery is hard. By now you may have done it. But I think it was worth the pain.

Hope you are breathing better!

MostlyWhiteRose profile image
MostlyWhiteRose

following with interest. 3 years in to suffering with polyps, no sense of taste or smell in all that time, save a couple of weeks when steroids were tried.Covid hasn't helped the delay (I've had 2 helpful phone consultations since 2020...) back in November I finally got a CT which revealed multiple polyps (already confirmed), deviated septum, and something else I can't remember. Consultant phoned just before Christmas to say surgery is probably best option as all sprays have been exhausted. I should also have an allergy blood test (still waiting) but I do have an appointment with the clinic next week... exciting times 👃

Edit, as a result of the above I also have constant blocked nose with thick mucas (usually clear), loud tinnitus, ear ache, sinus headaches #meh

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to MostlyWhiteRose

MostlyWhiteRose, you may be interested in this website that has some of the most up to date information about AERD, especially treatments and diet. samterssociety.org/Note that there's also a Facebook group linked to the website where fellow sufferers share their experiences and information.

MostlyWhiteRose profile image
MostlyWhiteRose in reply to Poobah

Thank you, I will take a look 🙏

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to MostlyWhiteRose

Sorry, that link doesn't work. samterssociety.org/

Eibhlinn profile image
Eibhlinn

Hi, like you I’ve had a lot of trouble with my sinuses but mine had been going on for years. Countless steroids and antibiotics. The pain was always there. So last year it was so bad I decided to go private. Then covid came and I had to wait. But eventually last December I got it done. I was nervous as I heard stories of wadding up your nose etc and how bad it was. Well it wasn’t bad at all and no wadding up your nose! After 3 days I was breathing normally through my nose for the first time in a long time and no pain. I had to have a deviated septum fixed and the surgeon widened up the sinuses a bit more which allowed me to breath better. I haven’t looked back since. I wish I had done it sooner. Good luck!

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50 in reply to Eibhlinn

Thank you for the reply. I love this group with only 2 blokes to talk to at home and no close family. I've just been to see the Consultant and I still have pus in my sinus where the issue was last year. He is going to operate and fix a deviated septum and open up my sinuses like yours I'm nervous as I have severe asthma and he said don't worry about that. So trying to remain positive.

Eibhlinn profile image
Eibhlinn in reply to PeakyBlinder50

I also have asthma. At the start of covid (March 2020) I took pneumonia and then 3 weeks later I was in hospital with breathing difficulties and I hospital for 4 nights on oxygen. It took me a year to get back to where i felt I was breathing properly again. The sinus op didn’t affect my asthma in any way. After the op I felt I wasn’t congested anymore because I could eventually breathe through my nose.

I hope this helps.

Eibhlinn profile image
Eibhlinn

Ps, I forgot to say, I also had polyps removed as well.

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50 in reply to Eibhlinn

I don't have any polyps.

Jimmy-Lyden profile image
Jimmy-Lyden

I've had nasal polyps many times and the first thing tried is Betnesol drops. I've actually just started a course. These usually help tame them for a while, to the point it may put surgery off for a few years... but if you've been told surgery is the way to go then that's that. BTW, if it's your first surgery be prepared for a surprise, once it's done you'll feel like your nostrils are the size of the Clyde tunnel and your head is the size of a football due to all the air you've suddenly breathed in.

Have fun!

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50 in reply to Jimmy-Lyden

This made me LOL I don't think I've ever breathed through my nose in 6 years. My husband said I was snoring so loudly last night the pillows were vibrating!!!

Jimmy-Lyden profile image
Jimmy-Lyden

Have you actually been offered surgery?

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50 in reply to Jimmy-Lyden

Yep today. Going to have a deviated septum fixed and sinuses opened he showed me more pus on my sinus it's been really bad for 6 months. Like really bad pansinusitis completely greyed out on the CT no air gaps...

Jimmy-Lyden profile image
Jimmy-Lyden in reply to PeakyBlinder50

You may find the deviated septum is caused by the polyps, that's what happened to me. I had polyps for years, it took my Doc to be struck off (alcoholism) and a new to diagnose them. Living with nasal polyps is hell, after your op you'll feel like a load has been lifted. Good luck!

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50 in reply to Jimmy-Lyden

Thank you it's affecting my asthma it's hard to breathe properly and talk properly with your nose congested. I hope it's worth it. 2 weeks till surgery.

Jimmy-Lyden profile image
Jimmy-Lyden in reply to PeakyBlinder50

I know exactly how you feel. I've had the op 8 times (I think, kinda lost count). Over the years I've had varying discomforts. With one, I was going through a blue inhaler every 10 days, or less. Another time I basically stopped speaking, except to my girlfriend, as I couldn't say vowels and EVERYONE was saying "Pardon?" when I did speak... and then they still couldn't quite make out what I was saying. Another was the sleep deprivation. I'd sleep for around 45 minutes and then awake with a bone dry throat, take a drink of water, drop off and then do the same, eventually getting up for a cup of tea to clear my throat. I ended up taking a flask of tea to bed. Try doing that for 2 months. This also caused problems at work. No sleep > short temper (not good for a lorry driver) > letting fly at people for asking seemingly inane questions (the area manager bing bonged me on my break as I was catching a snooze, to ask me to collect something I collected every day... in front of the area director for Scotland & Ireland... Luckily I knew them both and apologised later). So, you're not alone. This what happens.

Beader3 profile image
Beader3

I am not sure what surgery might be called for your condition, but I had rhinoplasties, turbine reduction, & polyps removed,; that was a huge improvement for me, my surgery was very much worth doing. Recovery was hardly worse than a bad sinus infection.

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50

Thank you all for the replies. Surgery going ahead and I feel less worried. I'll update you once I've had it done on recovery and benefits. I had no idea it was a comorbidity of asthma. Fingers crossed.

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to PeakyBlinder50

Good luck!

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50 in reply to Poobah

Thank you.

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50

Just to add I have been doing Neilmed Sinus Rinse since I was diagnosed with my asthma 6 years ago my respiratory consultant told me to do this twice a day. But the GP disagreed who I saw back in August to get the antibiotic for the first time for my sinus. She said I shouldn't be doing this every day. Also reading more widely it says to only use it when there is infection so perhaps I've done more harm than good using it daily.

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to PeakyBlinder50

Hopefully, a probiotic rinse will one day be available so that we can ensure a healthy microbiome after infection and treatment. Research is at a very early stage. At least you weren't using Sudafed or Otrivine for 6 years.

PeakyBlinder50 profile image
PeakyBlinder50

Surgery tomorrow and the fact I've been self isolating has made me feel very isolated. I'm normally pretty brave but I'm pretty scared even as I type this. I've not had an operation since being diagnosed with my asthma and everyone in the house has coughs and colds and I've coughed all day today to the point my chest is sore. Not sure what to expect tomorrow I hope it goes okay and keeping my fingers crossed.

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to PeakyBlinder50

You'll be in good hands and you can look forward to healthier sinuses. Sending positive vibes. 🤗 keep us posted.

Lynneypin profile image
Lynneypin in reply to PeakyBlinder50

how are you doing now?

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