Anosmia Treatment: Can Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Restore My Sense of Smell? 

Jun 14, 2024
Anosmia Treatment: Can Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Restore My Sense of Smell? 
If you can’t remember the last time you enjoyed the smell of breakfast in the morning due to anosmia, it may be time to consider endoscopic sinus surgery. Find out how this procedure can help you recover your sense of smell. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people struggled with an odd symptom: a sudden loss of their sense of smell. This perplexing symptom is anosmia, which could be permanent or temporary, depending on the cause.

While most people who got anosmia recovered and eventually regained their sense of smell without treatment, some were not so lucky and still haven't recovered.

Nasal congestion from colds, sinus infections, and allergies can also cause anosmia. Head injuries and certain neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's can result in more severe cases of the condition.

Anosmia isn't just inconvenient. It can prevent you from experiencing daily pleasures you take for granted, like the smell of your morning coffee or flowers. It can also put you at risk of being unable to detect dangerous situations like a gas leak.

Dr. Mani Zadeh, an experienced board-certified ear, nose, and throat specialist, has witnessed patients with anosmia suffer through severe emotional distress and even become depressed.

At his practice in Los Angeles, California, he offers endoscopic sinus surgery to help people with severe anosmia regain their sense of smell. Here, he explains how the procedure works and who qualifies as an ideal candidate.

Endoscopic sinus surgery for anosmia

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that can restore your sense of smell by removing any blockage in your sinuses. Surgeons use an endoscope, a thin, flexible tool, to precisely remove obstructions like polyps or scar tissue in your nose.

The main benefit of endoscopic sinus surgery is quick recovery. We make no major incisions during the procedure, and the outer part of your nose isn't affected, making the entire process fast and nearly painless.

Is endoscopic sinus surgery right for you?

Sinus surgery doesn't help with every case of anosmia. For instance, if a neurological disorder causes it, this procedure may not help. Before recommending sinus surgery, Dr. Zadeh thoroughly examines you. 

During his assessment, Dr. Zadeh considers factors such as your medical history, age, and, most importantly, the cause of your anosmia to determine if you need the procedure. 

He examines your nose and sinuses to determine the extent of your sinus blockage, if any. He also conducts an olfactory test to assess the severity of anosmia.

What to know about the procedure 

If you're an ideal candidate for endoscopic sinus surgery and opt for the procedure, Dr. Zadeh provides detailed instructions on preparing for surgery.

You must fast and avoid medications such as blood thinners days before the procedure. You also need to recruit a friend or loved one to take you home after the surgery due to the effects of general anesthesia.

What to expect during surgery

Dr. Zadeh carefully uses the endoscope to remove the blockages causing your anosmia. The entire procedure typically takes one to two hours.

It’s normal to feel a little congested and uncomfortable after the surgery. However, within about a week, you can return to your typical schedule and should heal completely in a few weeks.

Many patients who opt for endoscopic sinus surgery to treat chronic anosmia have reported a significant improvement in their sense of smell. If you're struggling with anosmia, contact Dr. Zadeh today to discuss whether endoscopic sinus surgery is right for you. You can schedule an appointment online or call 310-286-0123.