Welcome to Topeka Ear, Nose & Throat

Nasal & Sinus Surgery

At Topeka ENT, our otolaryngologist/head & neck surgeons always explore non-surgical solutions before considering surgery to address your health issues.

But there are times when a surgical option is warranted. Below are some common nasal and sinus conditions that may require surgical intervention if non-invasive treatments aren’t successful.

Please note: The information presented here is to help educate our patients about our approach and philosophy regarding surgery. Your Topeka ENT specialist will take all the time you need during our face-to-face exams and consults to discuss all of options and answer all of your questions. Your comfort, peace of mind, and trust in our care is very important to us.

Recurrent Sinus Infections

Your Topeka ENT specialist can prescribe many medications (antibiotics, decongestants, nasal steroid sprays, antihistamines) and procedures (flushing) for treating acute sinusitis. But when the infections are recurrent and/or non-responsive to the medication, surgery (septoplasty, turbinectomy) to enlarge the openings that drain the sinuses is an option. Thanks to advances in care and new procedures such as Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), image guided surgery and a Caldwell Luc operation, we can now treat sinusitis through surgery with minimal discomfort, a brief convalescence, and few complications.

Surgical decisions are made only after a careful diagnostic workup is performed to identify the underlying cause of acute or chronic sinusitis. This may necessitate a sinus computed tomography (CT) scan (without contrast), nasal physiology (rhinomanometry and nasal cytology), smell testing, and selected blood tests to determine an operative strategy.

The surgery should enlarge the natural opening to the sinuses, leaving as many cilia in place as possible. We have found endoscopic surgery to be highly effective in restoring normal function to the sinuses. The procedure removes areas of obstruction, resulting in the normal flow of mucus.

NasalandSinusSurgerySleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a serious medical condition where one's own throat and nasal tissues collapse to the point where air movement is very nearly or completely obstructed (ie, your own body is choking you). OSA not only prevents you from having a good night's rest and ability to stay awake during the daytime, but it also increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, and even death. OSA affects patients of all different ages from infants to adults. Sometimes sleep apnea surgery is a feasible option when all else fails. The particular goal of surgery is to “enlarge the airway and prevent snoring and airway collapse.”

Sleep apnea surgery is “site-specific”, meaning that it pinpoints a particular area of the airway and makes it bigger. This can be accomplished through:

  • Turbinate Reduction, in which the nasal turbinate (three in each nostril) are reduced in size to eliminate airway obstruction.
  • Septoplasty, to straighten out a crooked or malformed nasal septum, which can obstruct airways and cause a sleeping patient to actually stop breathing for short periods.
  • Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP), is used to treat not only obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) but consistent loud snoring as well. When it comes to this surgery the back edge of the soft palate is removed and the uvula is reduced in size. If the tonsils are part of the problem they are treated by way of a laser.

LAUP is performed under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office. We use a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser to perform the procedure. Up to four treatments may be necessary for best results. Each one takes approximately fifteen to twenty minutes at a time.

Nasal Polyps

Sometimes the development of small growths in the nose called polyps can bring about obstructions of the airways and contribute to snoring or sleep apnea. In other cases a succession of sinus infections can bring on nasal problems in the form of air obstruction. If either of these situations are the case then it is essential for a patient to undergo sinus surgery or polyp removal surgery.

Enlarged Uvula

Upper airway surgery is undertaken for the purpose of “narrowing the upper part of the airway involving the soft palate, uvula, tonsils, or adenoids.” Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is undertaken when a patient has an elongated soft palate as well as an enlarged uvula.

UPPP surgery is performed under general anesthesia and is done by way of conventional surgical instruments or a laser. What happens during the surgery is that the uvula is taken out and then the bottom edge of the soft palate is trimmed down as is necessary and then if the patient has tonsils they are taken out.