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Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

What Are The Most Common Complications?

Last updated on:
22/03/2012

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

It is important to note that no surgery is successful in 100% of cases. All surgeries have the potential for complications. With endoscopic sinus surgery, as with most surgeries, serious complications are uncommon. Most complications are not serious and are easily treated with antibiotics or other simple measures.

Any complications from endoscopic sinus surgery are the same as with any type of sinus surgery. While complications are infrequent with all sinus surgeries, there are fewer incidents with endoscopic sinus surgery than the more invasive traditional surgeries.

The most common serious complication, which occurs in approximately 2% of cases, is leakage of the body's spinal fluid. This is usually discovered during the surgery itself and repaired at that time so that no adverse effects will occur.

The worst and most rare complication is blindness, which is caused by damage to the optic nerve in the eye.

Nice To Know

Return to the doctor right away if any of the following symptoms appear after surgery:

  • Swelling
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Facial bruising or black eyes
  • Excessive discharge from nose or into throat, especially yellow or green discharge
  • Nose scars
  • Fever
  • Excessive or continued pain or headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain or tightness
  • Disorientation
  • Stiff neck
  • Extreme tiredness

Most of these symptoms can be easily corrected by the doctor if they are treated immediately.

 

 
 

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.