Sinus surgery (functional endoscopic sinus surgery or FESS) at Spire Edinburgh Hospitals Murrayfield and Shawfair Park

A tube like telescope is used to unblock the sinuses to offer pain relief.

If you have chronically blocked sinuses, you're probably suffering from chronic headaches, a swollen face, lethargy and maybe even the loss of your sense of smell and taste - all affecting your enjoyment of everyday life. After you've tried other forms of relief, you might need surgery to improve drainage from your sinuses. Endoscopic sinus surgery is the traditional method of surgery to do this.

Why you might need it

We understand that you might feel your life is dominated by the pressure headaches, face pain and exhaustion that chronically blocked sinuses (sinusitis) can cause. If medication and other treatments have failed, then sinuplasty can offer a relief to the pressure.

Your sinuses are hollow air filled spaces in the skull bones. They are connected to your nose and have a similar lining called mucous membrane, which produces a secretion (mucus) to keep the lining moist.

Excess mucus normally drains out of your sinuses and down the back of your throat. If the sinus linings get inflamed (sinusitis), or blocked by an overgrowth (polyp), the mucus will not drain in the normal way.

Sinus surgery is currently being restricted by the NHS in some areas of the UK and waiting lists are becoming significantly longer. If you can't stand the pain anymore, you might opt for private sinus surgery.

How much does Sinus surgery (functional endoscopic sinus surgery or FESS) cost at Spire Edinburgh Hospitals Murrayfield and Shawfair Park

We can't display a fee for this procedure just now. Please contact us for a quote.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

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Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

We understand that having surgery can potentially be a time of anxiety and worry - even for a relatively straightforward procedure like this one. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you, holding your hand, every step of the way.

Endoscopic sinus surgery can be performed as a day-case procedure. It is usually done under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep during the procedure.

It may be possible to perform the operation under local anaesthetic, which means you'll still be awake but the sinus tissues will be numb. If you're having a local anaesthetic, we may offer you a sedative to help you relax during the operation.

Your surgeon will explain what type of operation you need, based on a detailed examination of your nose and a CT scan of the area.

The procedure is done using a tube like telescope called an endoscope, which is inserted through the nostril. The endoscope has a light and camera lens at its tip so that the surgeon can see inside the nose and sinuses. Instruments are passed down the endoscope to remove any blockages, inflamed tissue or polyps, and the openings between your sinuses and your nose may be widened to help the sinuses to drain. Pictures from the endoscope’s camera may be displayed on a screen.

At the end of the operation, dressings may be put in your nose to stop any bleeding.


There is usually no need to stay overnight in hospital following sinus surgery.

After the procedure, you will be taken from the operating theatre to a recovery room, where you will come round from the anaesthesia under close supervision. 

After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.

Pain relief

Your anaesthetist will prescribe painkillers for the first few days after the operation. Suffering from pain could slow down your recovery, so please discuss any discomfort with your doctors or nurses.

Recovery time

You'll need to take it easy for a week after sinus surgery and if your work involves heavy lifting, you should try to take at least a week off.

How your loved ones can help

Once you’re ready to be discharged from hospital, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home as you won’t be able to drive for a few days.

Looking after you

Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way.

Typically your consultant will want to see you after your treatment to see how you’re doing; we will arrange a follow up appointment with you before you leave the hospital.

We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you. On rare occasions, complications following sinus surgery can occur. If you experience a swollen eyelid or bleeding from your nose – call us straight away.

If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery, we're ready to help.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.

How to get to us

Spire Murrayfield is an approximate 20 minute drive from Edinburgh Airport or 10 minutes from Haymarket train station. Regular buses serve the area well. Spire Shawfair Park is located to the south east of the city centre close to the City Bypass and the Royal Infirmary at 10 Easter Shawfair, Edinburgh, EH22 1FE.

Find us on Google maps

Spire Edinburgh Hospitals Murrayfield and Shawfair Park,

Spire Murrayfield Hospital
122 Corstorphine Road
EH12 6UD

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