Complications of Rhinitis and Sinusitis Surgery

September 13, 2018

Observing the primary and the secondary functions of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, the most focus has been placed on their primary function: restoring the airway. In that respect, the following introduces postoperative complications that often being overlooked.  

 

Empty Nose Syndrome The hallmark of, but not well recognized, sequela arose from rhinitis and sinus surgery is Empty Nose Syndrome (EMS).

 

EMS, the name itself, is a direct example of neglecting the importance of the structure of the paranasal sinuses. The surgery unblocked the sinuses, however, patients complain of hindered breathing without any knowing cause.  

 

The turbinates perform diverging of airflow breathed into the nose to direct the airflow to reach the entire paranasal sinuses. If the turbinates are reduced in their sizes, the divergent process becomes less effective, meaning the air fail to reach the entire nasal cavity, leaving the sufferer feeling not getting enough air. Having established clear opening, which scrapped off some structures, alters the airflow, therefore, not all area have sufficient air ventilation.

 

The turbinates act as the foundation of heated floor. Faulty foundation impedes the heat transfer to the upper structure. Likewise, restructuring the turbinates may disrupt the airflow which supposed to reach all the area in the nasal cavity. Instead of the altered flow of air is directed towards the enlarged opening whereas the air stop flows to other area. The patients complain of congested sensation in patients even after their breathing has been restored. Lacking in this knowledge, the turbinates have been removed without a second thought. Surgeons did not take the possible complications of the removal seriously.

 

When sinus surgery removes secretive functional layers of the nasal mucosa, it is expected that people can experience dryness inside the nose. However, what is much less known is the structural change caused by the surgery alters the "air flow" of the nose, which leads to impedance in the cooling function. Generally, removing swollen nasal mucosa to secure the nasal passage is rhinitis surgery and sinus surgery involves with removing part of bone to restore the airway for breathing and to eradicate infection once for all.

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