What's up doc - chronic sinusitis

‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.

Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help. This week, the health column is answered by Mr Mike O'Connell.

This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on 21 November 2012, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.


“Dear Doc, I have had sinus problems for many years and have had two operations to try and improve my condition. The problem seems to be with the sinuses in my forehead where I get repeated infections despite the surgery I have already had done. Is there anything more that could be done to help”? Andy, Crawley.


Chronic sinusitis is a long term inflammatory or irritative process involving cavities in the bones around your eye sockets, although the reason for the persistent nature of sinusitis has been difficult to identify. Treatment usually involves medications particularly in the form of steroid sprays or antibiotics and failing this surgery has a role. Despite this it can occasionally be difficult to cure sinusitis. Endoscopic sinus surgery is the current mainstay of surgical treatment but it is not always good at managing the frontal sinus (the “sinuses in your forehead").

A new technique, balloon sinuplasty, has recently been introduced and is particularly good at dealing with the frontal sinus. It is less invasive, quicker, performed as a day case and has fewer complications. In the eighteen months doing this operation I have had good results, even with previously unsuccessful cases. If you are having persistent problems I recommend you seek a further specialist opinion.

Do you need an appointment?

Mr O'Connell, offers appointments at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital on Thursday and Saturday. To book an appointment call 01293 778 906 or email info@spiregatwick.com.

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