Sinus Surgery for a Stubborn Infection?
Most people assume that infections must always be treated with antibiotics. This is an understandable assumption: more than half a century of American medical care has focused on medical cures for medical problems, and bacterial infection is generally considered the poster child for this approach.
But there are some areas, and some types of infection, that simply do not respond well to antibiotics. One recently discovered type of bacterial infection that can resist even the most powerful antibiotics is a smooth and impassable barrier known as a biofilm.
You may have read about biofilms in some other contexts. These unique structures have been grabbing headlines across the medical press for years as researchers struggle to understand their unique habits and dynamics. Some people even suggest that biofilms should be thought of as macro-organisms, like coral reefs – cooperative populations that act with one purpose and a single “mind.”
The investigators speculate that in some individuals, biofilms — particularly those containing the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus — can spur the immune system to mount an overexuberant inflammatory response that leads to sinusitis symptoms. Because the biofilm structure makes it hard for antibiotics to kill the bacteria, surgery to remove inflamed sinus tissue may ultimately be the best way to deal with the problem.
In other words, when antibiotics fail, a more aggressive approach is required. Often a procedure such as endoscopic sinus surgery is the best way to remove the biofilm – and to relieve your symptoms in one fell swoop.
If you suspect your sinuses may have been colonized by an army of bacteria marching in lockstep, it is time to speak with an expert ENT about some more permanent ways to resolve your symptoms. Contact an experienced sinus surgeon today to learn more about the best ways to fight back against sinus biofilms.