An endoscopic sinus examination allows the doctor to see all the
structures inside the nose and the sinuses.
Before inserting the
endoscope, the passages inside the nose are opened up
with a decongestant medicine and numbed with an anesthetic. The endoscope is
guided up through a nostril and into the sinus opening, but it is not able to
be inserted into the sinus itself.
The test is usually done by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT)
specialist (also called an
otolaryngologist or otorhinolaryngologist). It can be
done in the doctor's office and takes 5 to 10 minutes.
Why It Is Done
An endoscopic sinus examination may be used if:
The diagnosis of
sinusitis is still in doubt after performing X-rays or
a CT scan.
Initial medical treatment of sinusitis has failed to
solve the problem.
Surgery is being considered. An endoscopic sinus
examination may be used to evaluate the structures inside the nose where the surgery
will be performed.
Findings of an endoscopic sinus examination may include the
passages are blocked or have an abnormal size or shape.
thick mucus is draining from a sinus opening.
polyps) or foreign bodies inside the nose are seen.
The partition between the nasal cavities is crooked (deviated nasal septum) and is causing obstruction.
What To Think About
An endoscopic sinus examination is the best method of examining the nasal
passages and sinus openings because it can detect small growths in the nose
(polyps) and other problems that may be missed by routine examination.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerPatrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerDonald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine