Sinusitis Specialist

McMahan-Clemis Institute of Otolaryngology

Otolaryngology located in Chicago, IL

DIAGNOSING SINUS PROBLEMS Nasal Endoscopy: This simple, in-office procedure allows the physician to get a good look inside your sinuses and determine the cause and extent of your problems. As a diagnostic tool, it also confirms whether you will need endoscopic surgery. To find out whether you are a candidate for Diagnostic Nasal Endoscopy, call and schedule a consultation with Dr. McMahan at 312.266.NOSE (312.266.6673).

Sinusitis Q & A

What causes sinus problems or blockages?

Your sinuses are empty chambers within your nose and head that circulate air. They also produce and drain mucus, acting as a drainage system that can sometimes get blocked. Colds, infections, allergies and physical obstructions can all cause blockages that may shut down the sinuses and cause discomfort or pain.

How do I know if I need a nasal endoscopy?

If you have been experiencing sinus problems such as recurrent bacterial sinus infections, difficulty breathing or severe sinus headaches, you may have a sinus condition. Dr. McMahan will discuss these problems with you, along with your complete medical history. They will need to know which medications you have taken to clear your past sinus conditions and how effective they were. And you will be asked about physical conditions, environmental influences, allergies or irritants that may be affecting your sinuses. Sometimes the physician will perform a nasal endoscopy to investigate potential problems. 

Does it hurt?

No it doesn't. Actually, nasal endoscopy is a quick and painless procedure. After spraying your nasal passages to anesthetize the lining and shrink the tissue, the physician inserts a very small, thin tube or endoscope. (In some cases, anesthesia is not needed.) Through the eyepiece of this instrument, he can see the inside of your nose and nasal passages to check for swelling, polyps, thickened mucus, inflammation, blockages or other problems. 

Will my insurance cover this procedure?

Insurance companies always consider diagnostic endoscopies a surgical procedure. We notify you of this in advance so you are not surprised when you receive your explanation of benefits. Your insurance company may also reimburse surgical services at a different rate than an office visit. If you have any questions regarding fees or insurance coverage, please call us.

What if I need sinus surgery?

Today, sinus surgery can also be performed endoscopicallym, usually on an outpatient basis. While you are under general anesthesia, the physician will use the same basic type of scope as he does during a diagnostic endoscopy. With the help of this scope, he can then insert surgical instruments that will treat or remove sinus obstructions. Because the procedure causes little tissue damage, there is minimal pain and swelling and no visible scarring. You will be back to your normal activities and feeling better in no time.