An endoscope is a narrow flexible tube which contains an optical device like a telescope or magnifying lens with a bright light. In sinus endoscopy, the endoscope is inserted into the nose, and the interior of the nasal passages, sinuses, and throat is examined.
Sinus endoscopy is used to help diagnose structural defects, infection or damage to the sinuses, or structures in the nose and throat. It may be used to view polyps and growths in the sinuses and to investigate causes of recurrent inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis). During surgical procedures, an endoscope may be used to view the area to correct sinus-drainage problems or to remove polyps from the nose and throat.
Insertion of the endoscope may cause a gag reflex and some discomfort, however, no special precautions are required to prepare for nasal endoscopy.
This procedure can be done in a physician's office. The endoscope is inserted into a nostril and is threaded through the sinus passages to the throat. To make viewing of these areas easier, and to record the areas being examined, a camera, monitor, or other such viewing device is connected to the endoscope
For the procedure, the patient is usually awake and seated upright in a chair. A local anesthetic spray or liquid may be applied to the throat to make insertion of the endoscope less uncomfortable.
After the endoscope is removed, the patient can return to most normal activities. If an anesthetic was used, the patient may have to wait until the numbness wears off to be able to eat or drink.
The insertion and removal of the endoscope may stimulate a gag reflex, and can cause some discomfort. The procedure may also irritate the tissues of the nose and throat, causing a nosebleed or coughing.
Under normal conditions, no polyps, or growths are found in the sinuses. There should also be no evidence of infection, swelling, injury, or any structural defect that would prevent normal draining of the sinuses.
Polyps, growths, infections, or structural defects of the nasal passages are considered abnormal.
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Inc. One Prince St., Alexandria VA 22314-3357. (703) 836-4444. http://www.entnet.org.
Ear Foundation. 1817 Patterson St., Nashville, TN 37203. (800) 545-4327. http://www.earfoundation.org.
"Endoscopic Plastic Surgery." Southern California Plastic Surgery Group' Page. http://www.facedoctor.com.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.