Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sinus Surgery 3.0 Scheduled

Maybe I should just start a blog completely devoted to my sinus problems.

When last we left off, I had pretty much exhausted every avenue:

I went to an ENT at Northwestern Medical Center who, after essentially two surgeries, was certain my problems were dental and instructed me to see a dentist, basically washing his hands to the matter.

I went to a dentist who performed a major amount of work in a 6-week period.  The dentist believed that my problem would be fixed by having a tooth extracted by an oral surgeon.

I went to an oral surgeon who extracted 3 teeth under anesthesia but said he found nothing of concern during the surgery.

And yet my sinus problems persisted.  So I asked my regular doctor to recommend someone for me, and he sent me to a sinus specialist at the Chicago Nasal & Sinus Center.  My visit was earlier this week.  And all it took was an updated CT scan to see what my problems were/are.  Below is the CT scan:


Let me point out here that the black areas are air, white is bone, gray is tissue.  Notice the difference between the nasal (ethmoid) sinuses on the left side of my nose as opposed to the ethmoid on the right side.  See the clear airway on my right side (your left)?  Compare it to the other side.  Not much black on that side, right?  And check the two cheek sinus cavities, the maxillaries.  My left maxillary (your right) is much smaller and is either clogging up again or it all wasn't removed by the first ENT last summer.  And how about that deviated septum?

REALLY makes me wonder what the ENT at Northwestern actually did during the two previous surgeries.

What you can't see in the image above are the cavities above the eye, the frontal sinuses.  My right frontal is completely black while my left frontal is completely gray, which means it's clogged.  You might remember that my first ENT chose not to drain that one because he said there was a kink in the drainage vessel from that area.  So that cavity didn't drain at all, which is what's been causing my headaches since last July.  However, my recent CT scan shows that the drainage vessel is a straight show with no bend, kink or zigzag to it.

Here's another view of my sinuses.  This one is as if you are looking up through my head from under my chin - a "from the neck" view:


It's not hard to see how clogged up I am on my left side (your right).  The ENT at Northwestern essentially sent me to have a few thousand dollars worth of dental work.  Admittedly, I needed to have it done anyway, but I would have spaced it out over several months or even a year rather than have it ALL done in 6 weeks.  I rushed through to fix a problem that doesn't exist at financial and a great deal of emotional cost.

So now, I have another surgery scheduled for April 21st with the Nasal & Sinus Center.  And I'll admit that after leaving that office, I felt hope for the first time.  I really trust that these folks know what they're doing and are dedicated to fixing my face.

And all just in time for me to run a 5K with my sister-in-law.  I hope.