First Two Surgeries Did NOT Solve Sinus Issues
I’ve had two fairly routine surgeries in the last year that were supposed to resolve my long term sinus problems. But they did not. My ENT planned on doing a Balloon Sinuplasty on the Frontal Sinuses. He also planned to fix my Deviated Septum and clean out some polyps in the Maxillary Sinuses. He could NOT find the opening into the Frontal Sinuses, but took care of the rest of the planned procedures.
I asked my ENT to try to find a doctor to open up the Frontal Sinuses who could coordinate with my already scheduled Blocked Tear Duct surgery – even if it meant waiting for a date they could both work in. So when I saw him a few weeks ago, he referred me to the Head of the Otolaryngoly Department at UAB. I’ve been praying that this new specialist would be able to coordinate with the UAB Ophthalmologist, who was already scheduled to fix the tear duct. And praise be to God! They WILL be able to do both surgeries on the table with one anesthesia and one recovery! I am SO relieved!
I saw the Otolaryngologist who would do the surgery on my blocked sinuses YESTERDAY (Tuesday). The really unexpected part is that I have now been scheduled for surgery on this next MONDAY!! Talk about answered prayers!!
I have an abnormal new growth of infected bone (neo-osteogenesis) that has closed off my upper sinuses, which are completely filled with infected mucous. He still expects this to be Same Day Surgery, but it’s actually a serious surgery. He’s specializes in skull base surgeries. And this will take months to heal.
I will be on strong corticosteroids for some time after the surgery – as I understand it, it’s to keep the swelling down so the mucous grafts will heal properly. The grafts will cover the exposed bone (where he’s cutting out the infected bone). I will also be on some kind of steroid sinus rinse for the rest of my life to keep the bone infection from flaring up again.
I do not handle steroids very well. The last time I took them my muscles got so weak I could barely walk. That’s definitely a mitochondrial issue. These doctors are aware of that and will try to use as weak a dose as necessary. I have bought a new glucose testing kit, as he says the steroids will cause my insulin levels to rise. I haven’t had to worry about my Type II Diabetes in some years, as I am very careful to eat properly. I don’t even use meds to control it at this time. Praying that will continue to not be a problem.
So I’m very relieved I don’t have to wait for months to have a coordinated surgery – in fact I’m ecstactic!! Not so happy with the news about the steroids. I really would appreciate your prayers for me and for my hubby, who will not handle the surgery very well emotionally.
One Surgery Down
My ENT dismissed me yesterday, so all is doing well from the deviated septum and polyp removal surgery. He was not, at that time, able to perform the planned Balloon Sinuplasty on my frontal sinuses. The CT scan clearly shows that the sinuses above my eyes are filled with “something”, but we have no idea what. It could be mucous, or maybe infection, or maybe even fungus. During surgery he could not find the opening from those sinuses to my nose. The opening apparently has grown over with bone, likely from the chronic sinus infections I’ve had over the years.
Two to Go
He facilitated an appointment for me with a UAB specialist, as drilling into these upper sinuses takes specialized equipment and a specially trained surgeon. This doctor is the head of the Ophthalmology Department at UAB. UAB is a world renowned teaching hospital, so I’m lined up with the best of the best in our state.
Because the doctor’s office made the appointment, and he asked that it be expedited – I’m seeing this Ophthalmology specialist on August 10. My blocked tear duct surgery is scheduled for August 15.
I’m feeling less stressed now that I have the appointment to deal with the upper sinuses. I feel lousy, with lots of pressure and some pain above my eyes. I sound all stopped up, and that’s exactly the way I feel. I’m keeping the blocked tear duct swelling down with daily antibiotic/steroid drops I’ve been on now for about six months. The drops control the swelling, but that area of my face stays sensitive. My eyeglass nose pieces aggravate it, too.
I have faith that this is all going to turn out with me feeling much better. But I’ll have to admit I wish it could all be over right now. Patience…Rosemary…Patience.
One Week Post-Op Surgery Update
I had my one week out from surgery update appointment yesterday. My ENT is pleased with my progress. And he took the septum splint out. I can breathe a lot better now. He was surprised that I was still seeing bright red blood in the mucous, So he told me to stop taking the Vitamin E again. That’s the only blood thinner supplement I take.
We asked him about the frontal sinuses that he had planned to clear out, but did not do anything with. All I could remember in the post-op haze was that he didn’t get into the sinuses over the eyebrows because of bone. I thought he was saying the cavities were filled with bone, but that’s not what he meant. He did not do the Balloon Sinuplasty up there because the opening to those sinuses is completely blocked with bone.
He explained what was involved in operating to open that area up, and it sounds very involved and scary. THAT would NOT be Same Day Surgery, if I end up needing it. We’re praying that he won’t have to do that.
Of course that depends on whether enough has been done to stop all the post nasal discharge that has kept my throat irritated and sore for the last couple of years.
I had the FESS endoscopic surgery on the Maxillary and Ethmoid sinuses last October. The post-op mess with bloody discharge and dissolvable packing was very yucky. Having that done would not be a good idea for a person who was the least squeamish! And it took a lot longer than my original ENT had expected for the mucous lining of the Maxillary sinuses to grow back properly.
This surgery was also endoscopic, but he did not remove the mucous membrane. He cut off a large bone spur and straightened my septum. And he removed some polyps. I did not have the huge amount of bloody mess coming out of my nose every time I used the saline irrigation. And I was able to stop using constant pain meds in less than a week. The pain was much worse the first time and lasted a lot longer, with all the mucous membrane that had to heal.
So MY plan of my Summer of Surgeries didn’t go quite as I had expected. I’m already scheduled for external surgery in August to make a new opening between the right eye and my nose, so the tears won’t be blocked any longer.
I’ll be praying every day that I will not need the external frontal sinus surgery!