Why Sinus Surgery May Fail

Why Sinus Surgery May Fail

The most common reason for a failure of sinus surgery is that the real problem was not addressed – and sinus surgery, even if expertly done, will not be as effective as one would like. MOST patients with failed sinus surgery may NOT need revision surgery. We find the following conditions causing sinusitis will render surgery ineffective. For this reason, it is important to understand other sinusitis treatments that can better address the issue.


diagnosing sinusitis


Sinusitis can develop from nasal congestion caused by allergies – these need to be treated before sinus surgery. If allergies are not controlled, conditions such as polyps can recur – blocking even the enlarged openings.

Acid reflux

We find many people are symptomatic because of acid reflux coming up and irritating the nasal cavity. Their symptoms of post nasal drip may be caused by reflux, in which case sinus surgery will not help.


Many people, including surgeons, are sure that their headaches and facial pains are from their sinuses. Frequently these can be from migraines or cluster headaches – If sinus surgery is performed for these problems, it will likely fail.


People can have immune deficiencies causing recurrent infection. Although surgery may be needed, the results will be less than satisfactory if the immune issues are not addressed

In-expert surgery

  • Scarring – blocking the newly created openings – post-operative care is quite important – and some patients and surgeons may not be diligent in this. Often, we see patients where the surgery has caused scarring in the outflow of the frontal sinuses.
  • Removing too much tissue – resection of inferior turbinate, middle turbinates, etc, causes crusting. The middle turbinate, if partially resected, can scar over the opening to the frontal sinus.

Contact us today if you have concerns on your surgery or other sinusitis treatments, we can help.

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The Staff and Doctors of The New York Otolaryngology Group