Removal of Nasal Adhesions - Surgery Overview

Removal of nasal adhesions is a procedure to separate scar tissue within the nose that has become connected, or fused. Fused tissue is called an adhesion. Adhesions in the nose are also called synechiae. Adhesions are a common, usually minor, complication of nasal or sinus surgery and nasal packing. They also may develop because of trauma (for example, nose-picking or cocaine use) and such conditions as syphilis, tuberculosis, lupus, or sarcoidosis.

Adhesions form when two moist, opposing surfaces inside the nose heal together, causing a scar. They often form between the septum, which separates the nostrils, and one of the wavy structures inside the nose (inferior turbinate). Adhesions can make breathing difficult.

The procedure to remove adhesions usually is done in the doctor's office under local anesthesia. The doctor may apply an anesthetic to the skin, using spray or cotton, and inject local anesthetic. In rare cases, general anesthesia may be used.

The doctor may use a thin, lighted instrument (endoscope) to see into the nasal passages. He or she may use surgical scissors, a laser, or an instrument called a microdebrider to separate the fused tissue. The microdebrider has a rotating tip that shaves and removes inflamed tissue.

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