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Sinus Surgery

When repeated treatments of antibiotics and nasal steroidal sprays have failed to keep you free from sinus infections, the only remaining option may be sinus surgery.

When diagnosed with chronic sinusitis, a CT scan is usually obtained to fully view the images of the sinuses. These images may be used later in surgery if it is necessary.

Avera Medical Group Ear, Nose and Throat uses the latest in endoscopic technology for sinus surgeries. An endoscope is a tiny camera mounted on a thin tube that can easily be maneuvered through the sinuses. The endoscope allows clear and precise viewing of tissues lining the sinuses.

As with any surgery, endoscopic sinus surgery does carry some risk. Clinic staff go to great lengths to explain indications, benefits and risks, and alternatives to surgery.

Sinus CT Scan 

A computed tomography (CT) scan of the sinus is an imaging test that uses x-rays to create detailed pictures of the air-filled spaces inside the face (sinuses).

You will be asked to lie on a narrow table that slides into the center of the CT scanner. You may lie on your back, or you may lie face-down with your chin raised.

Once you are inside the scanner, the machine's x-ray beam rotates around you. (Modern "spiral" scanners can perform the exam in one continuous motion.)

Small detectors inside the scanner measure the amount of x-rays that make it through the sinuses. A computer takes this information and uses it to create several individual images, called slices. These images can be stored, viewed on a monitor, or printed on film. Three-dimensional models of the sinuses can be created by stacking the individual slices together.

You must be still during the exam, because movement causes blurred images. You may be told to hold your breath for short periods of time. Straps and pillows may be used to keep you still during the procedure.

The actual scan should take about 5 minutes. The entire process should take 15 minutes.

Additional Information

Learn how to prepare for the sinus CT scan and what the results mean.