Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Bellevue

Chronic sinus conditions affect thousands of people each year in the United States. Most are able to manage their symptoms with at-home remedies or non-invasive medical treatments. However, some types of chronic sinus problems may require a surgical solution. Endoscopic sinus surgery is one of the more common procedures performed to alleviate symptoms associated with chronic sinus issues. Dr. David Santos of Sinusitis In Seattle performs the best endoscopic sinus surgery Bellevue patients have available to them.

Overview: What Is Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?

Endoscopic sinus surgery uses an endoscope—a thin tube with a camera attached—as a guide to identify and remove inflamed or infected sinus tissue. Dr. Santos then removes this tissue which also helps widen the sinuses and reduce symptoms. In some cases, it can help completely alleviate symptoms. Regardless, the main goal of any sinus surgery is to significantly reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Dr. Santos performs the procedure with the patient under general anesthesia. It generally takes an hour or less depending on the extent and specifics of the procedure. Occasionally, Dr. Santos may perform other procedures during the same surgical session such as a septoplasty or nasal polyp removal.

What It Treats

Endoscopic sinus surgery is most commonly performed to help treat chronic sinusitis that has not responded to conservative treatment. Though, it can also address other sinus conditions such as:

Dr. Santos often considers sinus surgery a last resort when treating sinus-related conditions. He will likely recommend continuing to use at-home remedies and minimally invasive treatments after surgery.

Benefits & Risks

Endoscopic sinus surgery offers many benefits to patients who have not found relief from traditional sinusitis treatments. Some of the benefits may include:

  • Improve breathing
  • Reduce sinus headaches
  • Widen sinuses to prevent fluid build-up
  • Remove damaged or infected sinus tissue
  • Promote better quality sleep
  • Help improve many sinusitis symptoms such as bad breath, congestion, facial pressure, postnasal drip, etc.
  • Potential to alleviate symptoms
  • Address nasal obstruction
  • Remove nasal polyps
  • Long term results
  • Little to no scarring
  • No external scarring
  • Performed by an otolaryngologist with decades of experience

All surgeries—including minimally invasive ones like endoscopic sinus surgery—come with some level of risk. Overall, the procedure is low risk and comes with only rare complications. Dr. Santos will further review the risks during a consultation, but some of the risks may include:

  • Infection
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Little result
  • Bleeding
  • Complications associated with anesthesia

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Technique

Dr. Santos performs the entirety of Bellevue endoscopic surgery through the nostrils. Dr. Santos inserts a thin tube that includes the endoscope and necessary surgical tools into the nostril. Using the guidance of the camera, Dr. Santos navigates to the sinuses and other problem areas. He will remove polyps, infected structures, and damaged, inflamed structures.

Dr. Santos may perform the procedure on one or both sides of the face. Through the process of removing sinus tissue, Dr. Santos will gently widen the sinuses to help prevent future chronic problems.


Recovering after endoscopic sinus surgery in Bellevue is minimal. Patients usually take between five and seven days off work. Though, depending on their healing process, they may be able to return sooner. Immediately after surgery, the patient may notice their nose packed with gauze or similar material.

Dr. Santos may instruct patients to perform nasal irrigation to help keep the sinuses and nasal passages clean. This can also improve patient comfort during recovery. Patients can usually return to most activities within a week. Other aftercare instructions may include:

  • Elevate head at an angle when resting or sleeping
  • Avoid blowing out nose
  • Limit activities for at least one week
  • Do not drive for at least 24 hours after surgery
  • Avoid bending at the waist
  • Attend post-operative appointments
  • Open mouth to sneeze
  • Use ice or cold compresses to help reduce swelling
  • No swimming for six weeks

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Success Rate Of Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?

Endoscopic sinus surgery has an over 90% success rate. This accounts for improving or alleviating the initial instance of symptoms. Patients can develop future chronic sinus problems. This can happen due to a new infection, recurrence of polyps, allergies, and several other possible causes. The recurrence of chronic sinus conditions is not always a failure of the procedure.

How Long Does Sinus Surgery Take?

Dr. Santos completes most endoscopically performed sinus surgeries within one hour. However, if combining with other procedures or in severe cases, it may take over one hour. Dr. Santos can provide more insight into this before surgery.

Is Sinus Endoscopy Surgery Painful?

Patients undergo general anesthesia for the duration of the surgery. Therefore, they should not feel pain during the procedure. Some post-operative pain is expected. Though, for most, it is mild and often does not require prescription pain medication. Dr. Santos may still provide pain medications if necessary. For the most part, the surgery and recovery are tolerable and well managed by the average patient.

How Do You Qualify For Sinus Surgery?

Good candidates for sinus surgery tend to have a chronic sinus condition that has not responded or minimally responded to traditional treatment. Doctors consider sinusitis chronic when it lasts at least 12 weeks without significant response to treatment. Certain recurrent sinus problems may also qualify for surgical intervention.

Outside of suffering from a chronic sinus issue, the patient may also need to meet other criteria such as:

  • Generally healthy
  • Realistic expectations
  • Non-smoker
  • Not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Lifestyle hindered due to their sinus condition
  • Does not have certain medical conditions such as bleeding disorders, cancer, etc.

Dr. Santos evaluates patients during a consultation to see if they are a good surgery candidate or if a more conservative treatment is ideal. Additionally, as a short and minimally invasive procedure, most patients who need the surgery likely meet the basic medical requirements.

Will Insurance Cover Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?

Insurance will usually cover sinus surgery as long as the patient tried less invasive methods first. Patients can also pay out of pocket or use certain outside financing like credit cards. Sinusitis In Seattle encourages patients to reach out to their insurance company to learn what coverage they have and what their potential financial responsibility may be.

The Best Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Bellevue Offers

Dr. David Santos is an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor with over three decades of experience. He has served as Chief of the Department of Otolaryngology at Valley Hospital and is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Santos works to constantly learn the newest surgical techniques to best meet his patient’s needs. Sinusitis In Seattle performs the best endoscopic sinus surgery Bellevue provides.

Along with his ENT expertise, Dr. Santos is also a facial plastic surgeon who performs procedures such as facelifts, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty. This means that he does not only have a functional understanding of the face, but also a deep understanding of facial aesthetics.

Located not far off I-405, Sinusitis In Seattle serves patients from Bellevue and the Greater Seattle area. With a state-of-the-art surgical facility and mastery of chronic sinusitis treatment, Dr. David Santos helps patients find relief from chronic sinusitis. To learn more and schedule a consultation, call us at 206-242-3696. Patients may also reach out online using our contact form.