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Breathe well again and avoid infections with sinus surgery  

With over a decade of experience in the field, Dr. Mourad has helped countless patients find relief from sinus-related conditions, including sinusitis, nasal congestion, headaches, and more. As a leading expert in his field, Dr. Mourad utilizes the latest techniques and technology to deliver effective, personalized care to each of his patients. Whether you’re looking to alleviate chronic sinus pain or improve your breathing, Dr. Mourad is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and improve your quality of life.

Book an appointment to determine if you need sinus surgery in NYC

What is sinus surgery?

The spaces inside of your nose have tiny openings and channels that connect to each other and to both sides of the nose. Sinus surgery widens the channels and removes most of the walls of these spaces which prevents your sinuses from obstructing and allows them to drain more freely. Having more open spaces prevents the pressure from building up in your nose and decreases the frequency and severity of your sinus infections. Sinus surgery also allows saline rinses and topical medications to better access the open areas inside of your sinuses.

What are the different types of sinus surgery?

The main ways to open your sinuses are Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) and Balloon Sinuplasty. In revision surgery or if the sinuses next to your eyes or brain are involved then you may also need Image Guidance.

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS)

This is the most common type of sinus surgery. It is performed using an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. The endoscope is inserted through the nose and allows the surgeon to see inside the sinuses. The surgeon can then remove blockages, such as nasal polyps or bone spurs, and widen the openings of the sinuses to improve drainage and reduce inflammation. FESS is usually done under general anesthesia and can take several hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the case.

Image-guided surgery (IGS)

This is a 3-dimensional visualization system that uses your CAT scan to track instruments inside of your nose and sinuses. The guidance provides an additional tool to locate where you are inside of the nasal cavity. It can be used with Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery or some types of Balloon Sinuplasty. It is most appropriately used for revision surgeries or with the frontal, lateral ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses which are adjacent to the brain, eyes and major head nerves and vessels.

Balloon Sinuplasty

This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passages. A wire guide is placed into the larger sinuses and a balloon is advanced into the sinus opening. The balloon is expanded with water and the sinus opening is enlarged. This can be used in 3 of the 4 sinuses but does not remove infected sinus tissue. Balloon sinuplasty is not appropriate for patients with nasal polyps or ethmoid sinus disease.

Open sinus surgery

This is less common and usually used when more extensive work is needed. This type of surgery is done through small incisions in the skin, usually on the upper lip or inside the nostrils, and the surgeon will be able to access the sinuses directly.

Transoral endoscopic surgery

This is a new and developing technique for sinus surgery, which is performed through the mouth. The surgeon uses an endoscope to access the sinuses and remove any blockages or tissue causing the infection. This approach avoids any external incisions and is less invasive.

Discuss risks associated with each sinus surgery option with Dr. Mourad

It’s important to note that these different types of sinus surgery have different indications and risks, and the choice of which one to use will depend on the individual case. Your doctor will explain the risks and benefits of the surgery, and help you decide if it is the right option for you.

When is sinus surgery required?

Acute sinusitis is when you have a sinus infection that lasts less than one month. Chronic sinusitis is when you are having a constant sinus infection that doesn’t go away with antibiotics and steroids. Either of these can significantly decrease your quality of life. 

Having multiple episodes of acute sinusitis per year or having chronic sinusitis that has failed medical treatment are both good reasons to consider sinus surgery. Decreased quality of life would include missing school or work, suffering frequently or through long periods with sinusitis symptoms, depression or constant fatigue. People suffering from the following conditions should consider meeting with Dr. Mourad about sinus surgery:

Recurring infections

Some individuals may have recurring sinus infections despite medical treatment. In these cases, surgery may be recommended to improve the overall health of the sinuses and reduce the likelihood of future infections.

Chronic sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is a condition in which the sinuses become inflamed, leading to symptoms such as headache, facial pain, nasal congestion, and decreased sense of smell. In some cases, chronic sinusitis may not respond to conservative treatments, such as medications and nasal irrigation, and may require surgery to clear the sinus passages and improve sinus function.

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are small growths that can develop in the nasal passages, blocking the sinus openings and causing sinusitis. Sinus surgery can be performed to remove the polyps and improve sinus function.

Structural problems

Structural problems, such as a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates, can block the sinus passages and contribute to sinusitis. Sinus surgery can be performed to correct these problems and improve sinus function.

It is important to note that a sinus surgery may not be required in all cases of sinus-related problems, and that the decision to proceed with surgery should be made in consultation with an otolaryngologist, such as Dr. Moustafa Mourad, who specializes in sinus surgery.

Get sinus surgery in NYC

What is a sinus infection (Sinusitis)?

Inside your nose, there is a series of connected spaces that drain mucus into the nasal cavity. When these spaces swell they can become blocked and infected. Causes of a sinus infection include; the common cold, allergic rhinitis, or a deviated septum. Symptoms may include, facial pain and pressure, headaches, green or yellow nasal discharge, severe nasal congestion, and fatigue. Sinusitis will usually go away within a few days with rest, hydration and Vitamin C. However, when your symptoms last more than one week or suddenly worsen, chances are you have a bacterial sinus infection and it is time to see your doctor for antibiotics.

How do I treat my sinus infection?

For the first few days you can hydrate, get plenty of rest, avoid caffeine and alcohol, rinse your nose with saline (Neti pot), and take Vitamin C. If your symptoms continue for greater than one week or suddenly your headaches worsen or your nasal discharge becomes thicker and more discolored, you most likely have a bacterial sinus infection requiring antibiotics. Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic that targets the most likely causes of your sinusitis. Your physician may also prescribe a topical or oral steroid to help speed the decrease of inflammation inside your sinuses. An otolaryngologist has the highest amount of training inside the nose and has endoscopes to actually look inside your nose at the sinuses.

How can I prepare for sinus surgery?

You will meet with Dr. Mourad where he usually spends an hour going over everything related to your surgery. He will evaluate and make sure that he can specifically tailor a custom care plan to your exact needs. During the consultation, Dr. Mourad will determine the exact nature of your complaints and the exact causes. He may prescribe medications that will assist in your complaints. Once a tailored plan is made, Dr. Mourad and his staff will take you through all the necessary information needed to make sure that your surgery happens without issue. We take care of the details so that you can have the most enjoyable experience.

Dr. Mourad views treating his patients to be nothing short of a privilege and an honor and enjoys taking the time to get to know his patients and fully understand their issues. Dr. Mourad’s office provides a boutique experience that takes you out of the mindset of being at the doctor’s office. It is a warm, comfortable environment, providing a bespoke experience.

Depending on your work, Dr. Mourad typically recommends taking a minimum of 3 days off before returning to work. He also discourages his patients from any heavy lifting. If you wear glasses, you may require some alterations if applicable. Dr. Mourad will provide you with pain medications, ointments, nasal sprays, all to help maximize your results. Dr. Mourad will then see you in visitations two weeks later, and then one month after that. Dr. Mourad enjoys the continued visitation of his patients and will see them in follow up for many years thereafter.

Will insurance pay for my sinus surgery in the United States?

Almost all insurances in the United States will consider sinus and breathing disorders as functional surgery that is covered by insurance. Our office will check your benefits and let you know what they are before you come into the office so there are no surprises. We will submit your paperwork and obtain approvals for your procedure. Dr. Moustafa Mourad has highly trained in sinus surgery as well as rhinoplasty, broken noses and valve repair. If you have sinus problems please feel free to give us a call so we can help.

How can Dr. Mourad help you?

When you contact our office, our friendly staff will ask for your basic information and set up an appointment time that is convenient for you. If there is an insurance component to your visit we will check your benefits and let you know what they are. We have a no surprise billing policy and will let you know your responsibility. Dr. Mourad has extensive eyelid and facial surgery experience to address your aesthetic needs. If you feel that you would like an evaluation of your eyes or other facial features please feel free to contact our office.

Meet Moustafa Mourad, MD, FACS

Moustafa Mourad, MD, FACS is board-certified in head and neck surgery and highly-trained in cosmetic plastic surgery and facial reconstruction. Dr. Mourad is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He treats many conditions, both cosmetic and complex, that affect the head, neck... Learn More »

The Results

Learn More About Sinus Surgery

What is sinus surgery and when is it recommended?

Sinus surgery is a procedure that is performed to treat various conditions that affect the sinuses, such as sinusitis, nasal polyps, and other structural problems that block the sinus passages. Sinusitis is a condition in which the sinuses become inflamed, leading to symptoms such as headache, facial pain, nasal congestion, and decreased sense of smell. Sinus surgery is recommended when more conservative treatments, such as medications and nasal irrigation, have not been effective in alleviating these symptoms. In some cases, sinus surgery may also be recommended to correct structural problems, such as a deviated septum, that are contributing to sinus issues.

Is a deviated septum or nasal congestion the same as sinusitis?

No. But having a deviated nasal septum or nasal congestion can both cause your nose to become more congested and make you more likely to get sinus infections. Every nasal septum is a little crooked but when they are severely deviated enough to block your breathing or plug your sinuses then they are termed a “deviated nasal septum”. You can have nasal congestion from allergies, generalized swelling of your nasal tissue or a common cold.

If I have a headache, do I have a sinus infection?

Most headaches are unrelated to the sinuses. Although, sinus infections can cause headaches. Sinusitis headaches are usually accompanied by facial congestion, fatigue, and discolored nasal discharge. There are situations where the only sign of a sinus infection can be a headache. In these situations, a sinus CAT scan (detailed X-rays of the sinuses) may be needed to look for obstruction or inflammation of the sinuses.

What should I expect from my sinus surgeon?

Your sinus surgeon should provide comprehensive care, including a thorough evaluation of your sinus issues, a discussion of your treatment options, and a recommendation for the best surgical procedure for your specific case. They should also provide postoperative care, including follow-up appointments and monitoring of your progress.

What is nasal packing?

Nasal packing is a type of material that is used to help control bleeding and promote healing following sinus surgery. The packing is placed in the nasal passages to protect the delicate mucous membranes and to prevent the formation of scar tissue.

What are the outcomes of sinus surgery?

The outcomes of sinus surgery vary depending on the specific surgical procedure performed and the individual patient. In general, sinus surgery can lead to improved sinus function, including improved breathing, decreased facial pain, and increased sense of smell. In some cases, sinus surgery may also lead to a reduction in the frequency of sinus infections.

What is the postoperative care for sinus surgery?

The postoperative care for sinus surgery typically includes rest, pain management, and the use of nasal saline sprays to keep the nasal passages moist. In some cases, additional treatments, such as the use of oral steroids, may be necessary to manage persistent sinus pain and swelling.

What can I expect during the recovery process after sinus surgery?

The recovery process after sinus surgery will vary depending on the type of procedure performed and the individual patient. In general, patients can expect some discomfort and swelling in the sinus area for a few days following the surgery. Patients are typically able to return to normal activities within a few days to a week after the procedure. During this time, it is important to follow any postoperative instructions provided by the surgeon, such as using nasal sprays or avoiding certain activities. In some cases, patients may need to avoid blowing their nose or engaging in strenuous activity for a few weeks after the surgery, to allow the sinuses to heal properly. The surgeon will provide specific instructions and guidance to help ensure a smooth recovery process.

How successful is sinus surgery in treating sinus-related problems?

Sinus surgery has a high success rate in treating sinus-related problems, with many patients reporting significant improvement in their symptoms following the procedure. The success of the surgery will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific condition being treated, the patient's overall health, and the type of procedure performed. In general, patients who have sinus surgery to address structural problems, such as a deviated septum, can expect good outcomes. Patients with chronic sinusitis may experience more variable results, as the underlying causes of the condition may not be completely resolved with surgery alone.

What is the cure for sinusitis?

There is no cure for sinusitis, but it can often be treated with medical or surgical treatments. In some cases, a combination of medical and surgical treatments may be necessary to achieve the best outcomes. The specific treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause of the sinusitis and the individual patient's needs.

Are there any studies on sinus surgery outcomes?

Yes, there have been numerous studies on the outcomes of sinus surgery, including observational studies and randomized controlled trials. These studies have demonstrated that sinus surgery can lead to improved outcomes for the majority of patients with chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps.

What are the associated risks with sinus surgery?

Risks related to anesthesia:

Depending on the type of anesthesia administered, patients may have a reaction. This is exceedingly rare, and it is important to discuss your personal risk with your anesthesiologist.

Risks of infection

In rare circumstances patients may develop an infection following sinus procedures. These are usually managed with intraoperative and postoperative antibiotics.


Although rare, patients may have bleeding episodes following nasal surgery. Your surgeon will likely order blood work to make sure you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Your surgeon should also go over all medications and supplements that you take to minimizing bleeding risk.

Need for secondary and revision surgeries

Depending on the complexity of the surgery, sometimes multiple surgeries are required to ensure the best aesthetic and functional outcomes.

Scarring (Synechia) and Poor wound healing

Some patients with underlying medical conditions or more prone to poor wound healing and scarring. It is important to understand these risks prior to embarking on a treatment strategy.

Local Reactions

Sometimes you may experience local reactions to the ointments, sutures, taping material, and nasal packing used during surgery and postoperatively. This is rarely seen, but may occur. If you have any allergies to certain materials or adhesives you should discuss with your surgeon.

Changes in nasal sensation

Patients may experience altered sensations in their nose (pain or numbness). This is exceedingly rare, and if it occurs it is most often temporary.

Persistent or Recurrent Sinus Infections

Although the goal of surgery is to reduce the severity and number of sinus infections, patients may continue to experience some infections. This may be related to underlying medical issues (e.g. asthma, or nasal polyps). In rare circumstances, if the infections are similar in frequency and severity as prior to the surgery, a secondary surgery may be required.

Persistent, New, or Recurrent Nasal Airway Obstruction

Altering the nose may result in changes to breathing. Sometimes patients may develop new, persistent or recurrent airway problems. This is rare, but oftentimes is due to poor wound healing or scarring (see above). This may require secondary surgeries to optimize outcomes.

Continued need for medical therapies

If you have sinus complaints related to medical causes (e.g. allergies), then you may continue to require medical nasal therapies (e.g. nasal steroids and sprays). Oftentimes, medical therapies are used in conjunction with surgery to maximize the benefit of each therapy.

Nasal Septal Perforation

A hole in the septum may develop. Oftentimes these do not cause any problems. Other times however, they may cause crusting, bleeding, and breathing difficulties. These require secondary surgeries for repair.

CSF Leak

The sinuses are situated near the skull base. Sometimes this area may be injured or involved with disease causing leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (link to CSF leak article). This is rare, but if it occurs may lead to infections, and often require secondary surgeries for repair. The risk of CSF leaks is reduced by use of intraoperative navigation technology, to insure the safety of the patient.

Orbital Complications

The sinuses are located near the eye. This area may be injured or involved with disease. This may lead to complications such as blurry vision, double vision, or loss of vision. This is exceedingly rare, and is usually rare. In the rarest of circumstances this may be permanent. However, the use of intraoperative navigation systems minimize the risk of this occurring.