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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Anesthesia - Local?

08/20/2010

Question:

I have had two functional Endoscopy Sinus Surgeries for polyp removal in three years. I need another one already. I can`t see myself going under complete anesthesia every couple of years, as being very good for me. Can this type of surgery be done with local anesthesia? It looks like I am going to be doing this long term/many times so therefore I and want minimal health risk/side effects from the anesthesia.

Answer:

The answer is yes. There are some surgeons who still perform this surgery under local anesthesia with IV sedation.  

However, there are many surgeons who do not like doing the revision surgeries under local anesthesia. You will have to talk to your doctor. On the other hand, general anesthesia has become extremely safe today. 

If you need surgery every couple of years, I do not believe that you will be doing any long term damage to your body.

Having said that, requiring three surgeries in three years is unusual.  If you have been seeing the same doctor, you might want to consider another opinion to make certain all nonsurgical therapies have been considered.  For example, I hope you are using one of the nasal steroid sprays like Nasacort, Nasonex, Veramyst, etc to slow down the rate of recurrence.  Many patients get great results with these nasal sprays in terms of preventing/slowing polyp recurrences.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Keith M Wilson, MD Keith M Wilson, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Head and Neck Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati