Nasal endoscopy, also known as rhinoscopy or fiberoptic rhinoscopy, is a procedure that allows ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialists to examine the inside of the nasal cavity and sinuses. Using a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope, doctors are able to get a clear view of the nasal passages and detect any abnormalities, infections, or other issues that may be present. Nasal endoscopy is a common diagnostic procedure performed by ENT specialists and has various applications in evaluating and treating nasal and sinus conditions.
In this article, we will explore the nasal endoscopy procedure in detail, its importance and benefits, common reasons for undergoing the procedure, what to expect before, during and after, potential risks involved and more. By understanding the ins and outs of nasal endoscopy, you can feel more informed and prepared if an ENT specialist recommends this procedure.
What is a nasal endoscopy?
A nasal endoscopy involves inserting a thin, flexible endoscope through the nose to examine the nasal cavity, sinuses, and related structures in the head and neck region. The endoscope has a light source and a tiny camera at the tip that allows the ENT specialist to get high-definition views of the internal nasal anatomy on a video monitor.
During a nose endoscopy, the ENT specialist is able to carefully inspect the nasal passages, turbinates (tissue structures along the side walls), nasal septum (divider between nostrils), osteomeatal complex (drainage pathway in the sinuses), Eustachian tubes and more. Any abnormalities, polyps, tumours, infections or other issues can be clearly visualised with an endoscope. The procedure is also known as fiberoptic rhinoscopy as older endoscopes used fibre optic bundles for illumination and imaging.
Why is nasal endoscopy done?
There are several reasons why an ENT specialist may recommend undergoing a nasal endoscopy. Some of the most common ones include:
- Diagnosing sinusitis: Nasal endoscopy allows visualisation of the sinuses and detection of inflammation, polyps or pus indicating sinusitis.
- Evaluating nasal polyps: Endoscopy helps determine the size, location and extent of nasal polyps which are non-cancerous growths in the nasal cavity or sinuses.
- Checking for tumors: Any abnormal growths or tumors in the nasal cavity or paranasal sinuses can be detected with an endoscope.
- Investigating nasal obstruction: If a patient has difficulty breathing through the nose, endoscopy helps identify the cause such as a deviated septum.
- Checking post-surgery healing: It is commonly done after sinus or nasal surgeries to examine healing and rule out any complications.
- Diagnosing allergies, infections and other issues: Conditions like allergic fungal rhinosinusitis can be diagnosed using nasal endoscopy.
- Guiding sinus surgery: An endoscope provides real-time visualisation during Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) to clear blockages.
So in summary, nose endoscopy serves as a valuable diagnostic as well as an intraoperative tool for ENT specialists to evaluate, diagnose and guide treatment of various nasal and sinus conditions.
Nasal Endoscopy Procedure
A nasal endoscopy is generally an outpatient procedure that takes 15-30 minutes to perform. Here are the typical steps:
- Preparation: You may be asked to avoid eating for a few hours prior and stop blood thinners if advised.
- Anaesthesia: A topical decongestant and local anaesthetic are sprayed in the nose to numb the area and shrink tissues for better visibility.
- Examination: The ENT specialist inserts a thin, flexible endoscope into one nostril, passes it through the nasal cavity and visualises different areas on a video screen.
- Additional passes: Multiple passes may be needed by gently angling the endoscope from side to side to examine the entire nasal cavity and sinuses.
- Aftercare: Pressure is applied to stop any minor bleeding. You can resume normal activities right away.
The procedure itself does not cause much pain or discomfort as the area is numbed. You may feel some pressure, but it is generally well-tolerated on an outpatient basis.
Risks and complications of nasal endoscopy
While nasal endoscopy is a low-risk and well-tolerated procedure, there are some potential complications to be aware of:
- Bleeding: Minor bleeding from the nasal passages is common but stops quickly. Severe bleeding requiring medical attention is rare.
- Infection: As with any procedure inserting instruments into the body, there is a slight risk of introducing infection, especially for those with weakened immunity.
- Dizziness: Lightheadedness or feeling faint can occur due to anxiety or the supine position during examination. It passes quickly.
The risks are minimised by an experienced ENT specialist in Ahmedabad performing the procedure carefully. Overall, nasal endoscopy is considered very safe when done by a qualified doctor in an equipped setting. Let the doctor know about any medical conditions or allergies beforehand.
What to expect after nasal endoscopy
After the nasal endoscopy procedure
- Discomfort is mild and relieved with over-the-counter painkillers as needed. Any bleeding or drainage should stop within an hour.
- You may feel some nasal congestion or pressure for a few hours as the numbing wears off. Blow your nose gently to clear any secretions.
- Resume regular diet and activities right away unless advised otherwise. Avoid strenuous exercise for the rest of the day.
- Follow up with your ENT specialist to discuss the findings and next steps. Treatment plans are formulated based on any abnormalities detected.
- Biopsy results typically take a few days to a week to be available for review if samples were taken.
- Schedule follow-up endoscopies as advised by your doctor to monitor healing, the effectiveness of treatments, or changes over time.
With proper aftercare and following doctor’s instructions, you can expect to resume normal routines soon after a nasal endoscopy procedure.
Benefits of nasal endoscopy
Some key benefits of endoscopic nose surgery include:
- Detection of abnormalities not visible during physical examination alone.
- Guidance for functional endoscopic sinus surgery by an ENT surgeon.
- Monitoring of conditions like polyps, tumors, and infections over time.
- Evaluation of healing after nasal or sinus procedures.
- Minimally invasive compared to other sinus evaluation methods like CT scans.
- High-definition, magnified views of the nasal anatomy on a video monitor.
- Digital documentation of findings over time for tracking disease progression.
So in summary, nasal endoscopy provides ENT specialists with a valuable direct visualisation tool to accurately diagnose and guide treatment for various nasal and sinus conditions in a minimally invasive manner.
In conclusion, nasal endoscopy is a common and important diagnostic procedure performed by ENT specialists to evaluate the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. It allows direct visualisation of these areas to detect abnormalities, infections, polyps or other issues.
The in-office procedure takes around 30 minutes to complete and is generally well-tolerated with local anaesthesia. While risks are low, following the doctor’s instructions is important for a safe recovery. Nasal endoscopy guides diagnosis and treatment planning for various nasal and sinus conditions. It also helps monitor postoperative healing and disease progression over time. By understanding what to expect before, during and after a nasal endoscopy, patients can feel more informed and prepared. If you are also looking for an experienced ENT Specialist in Ahmedabad. You can get in touch with Dr. Simple Bhadania, who is regarded as the leading expert in ENT surgery. Based in Ahmedabad, Dr. Simple is a highly qualified ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) surgeon. Her remarkable clinical acumen and surgical abilities reflect her solid understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the head and neck region. In order to address any concerns, Dr. Simple Bhadania goes above and beyond, seeing each patient through to complete recovery. This kind of commitment and readiness to go above and above is really uncommon.