The nasal sinuses are air-containing spaces surrounding the nasal cavity. Their true function is uncertain but their involvement in disease and inflammation is extremely common. Suffering with ‘sinus’ means different things to different people. Sinus surgery is only one option in the treatment and should be reserved for when medical treatment has failed.


Dr. Wallace offers the operation for some or all of the following reasons:


This surgery is associated with a moderate risk of complications.
The specific risks of sinus surgery of which you should be aware are:


Sinus surgery is routinely performed with the patient asleep under General Anaesthesia. The duration is approximately 30 to 60 minutes. The Anaesthetist will assess your fitness for surgery prior to admission to hospital.


Dr. Wallace performs the surgery via the nostrils without any external incisions unless specifically mentioned before the operation. Telescopes and powered instruments are used but again there is no need for external incisions. Normally no nasal packing or dressings are required. Specimens are commonly sent for pathology examinations.
After approximately 30 minutes in Recovery, you are taken back to the ward for continuing but less intensive observation. You may go home after several hours or you may stay overnight.


Dr. Wallace is now trained in the new technique of expanding the sinus drainage pathways using the minimally invasive balloons. See the technique at ACCLARENT


Dr. Wallace will visit you in hospital early the following morning. There should be little or no external swelling or bruising and minimal discomfort. Dr. Wallace will review you in his office one week later and most patients take this week off work. The cost of the first 6 weeks of post-operative care is included in the surgical fee.

Avoid any vigorous physical activity for two weeks and sleep with an extra pillow to reduce nasal congestion. Nose blowing is allowed but needs to be gentle.


Sinus surgery is often combined with other procedures. The most common combination is with Nasal Turbinate Cautery to deal with the effects of hay fever or rhinitis. Another commonly combined operation is Septoplasty to straighten the inside structure of the nose, and occasionally Rhinoplasty for external nasal re-shaping


It takes about 4 weeks for the sinuses to heal but up to 6 months for all the inflammation to settle. This only proceeds well if allergic factors are controlled and this may involve the use of a nasal spray, allergy immunotherapy or an exclusion diet.

The vast majority of patients will be very glad that they put themselves through the minor discomfort of a sinus operation. Within 2 to 4 weeks, breathing will be easier, sleep should be more refreshing and any pre-existing sinus headaches should be settling.