What is Nasal Endoscopy?

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Nasal Endoscopy

Nasal endoscopy is a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure used to examine the nasal passages and paranasal sinuses. This procedure allows the direct evaluation of the nasal mucosa, taking samples (biopsies, cytology, cultures) under visual control and performing surgical procedures such as extraction of polyps or foreign bodies.

Process

It is an outpatient procedure that must be performed by an Otolaryngologist (ENT specialist), a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect the ear, nose, and throat.

The test takes 5 to 10 minutes and the steps to be performed are:

  • Spraying of the nasal cavity with a medication to reduce inflammation and anesthetize the area Insertion of the endoscope - a long rigid or flexible tube with a camera on the end - inside the nasal cavity to look at nose and sinuses; the images will be projected on a screen
  • Evaluation of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses and, if necessary, extraction of polyps, mucus or other samples that may be useful

What will the patient feel during the procedure?

First of all, we must know that nasal endoscopy is not a painful procedure. However, in some cases, patients may feel discomfort or pressure as the doctor introduces the endoscope through the nostrils. The anesthetic applied in the nasal cavity can also anesthetize the throat and tongue, so these areas feel numb, but this usually disappears in 20 to 30 minutes.

Indications for Nasal Endoscopy

Nasal Endoscopy allows observing specific details, such as the place of the bleeding and the inflammation of the nasal tissues. It can also be used to evaluate the internal structure of the nose. In some cases, Nasal Endoscopy is used as a therapeutic method. For example, to extract a foreign body lodged in the nasal cavity of a child.

The doctor may also advise this procedure to evaluate the results of applied treatment. For example, to evaluate if nasal polyps have reduced in size after medical treatment.

Rhinosinusitis is one of the most common reasons for Nasal Endoscopy. The symptoms associated with this condition are nasal obstruction, yellow or greenish fluid that comes out through the nose, and facial pain. The doctor can use the endoscope to see if there is inflammation and polyps in the nasal mucosa and can also take samples of the secretions that allow determining the microorganism that causes the infection, and the best way to treat it.

The most frequently seen indications of Nasal Endoscopy are:

  • Recurrent Sinus Infection
  • Nasal Obstruciton
  • Nasal polyps
  • Nasal tumors
  • Nasal bleeding
  • Loss of the ability to perceive smells
  • Emission of cerebrospinal fluid through the nostrils
  • Sinus headache

Risks

Nasal Endoscopy is a safe procedure that does not involve an increased risk. However, in some cases, nasal bleeding, fainting or adverse reactions to anesthesia may occur. Complications are rare. Patients who are taking anticoagulant medication have a higher risk of bleeding.

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Medically reviewed by SinusDoctor

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