Results vs risks of the procedure


Modern endoscopic techniques have made sinus surgery more efficient and reduced the risks of complications.

The results of your surgery are likely to depend on your condition. Overall, good short- and long-term results have been reported for endoscopic sinus surgery.

In one study, 66 of 72 people said their symptoms were improved following surgery. They were followed up for an average of 8 years. In another report, 85% of people said their quality of life had improved after they were followed up for an average of 32 months.

Between 4% and 11% of people need repeat surgery, depending on the underlying problem.


As with any medical procedure there are some potential risks. The chance of complications depends on the type of procedure that you’re having and other factors, including your general health. Overall, the complication rate for sinus surgery is 0.5%.

Risks of sinus surgery include:

  • bleeding
  • infection requiring antibiotics
  • ongoing symptoms including nasal obstruction and discharge
  • adhesions (scar tissue)
  • decreased sense of smell or taste
  • excessive dryness or crusting of your nose
  • swelling or bruising of the area around your eye
  • watering eyes
  • injury to the eye causing double vision or blindness (extremely rare)
  • cerebrospinal fluid leak or brain injury (extremely rare but serious).

Ask your surgeon about the results and risks associated with your procedure. Also ask about their own rates of patient satisfaction and the rate of complications following the procedures they’ve performed.

Choosing a specialist

How to find an ear, nose and throat surgeon who can assess you and decide whether this surgery is right for you.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.