Endoscopy, Sinus


To facilitate diagnosis and treatment of recurring sinus infections or infections resulting from unresolved sinus infection, including incursion into the brain, eye orbit, or eyeball.

Patient Preparation
There are no food, fluid, activity, or medication restrictions unless by medical direction.

Normal Findings

  • Normal soft tissue appearance.

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions


(Study type: Endoscopy; related body system: Respiratory system.) Sinus endoscopy, done with a narrow flexible tube, is used to help diagnose damage to the sinuses, nose, and throat. The tube contains an optical device with a magnifying lens with a bright light; the tube is inserted through the nose and threaded through the sinuses to the throat. A camera, monitor, or other viewing device is connected to the endoscope to record areas being examined. Sinus endoscopy helps to diagnose structural defects (e.g., polyps or other abnormal growths), damage, and acute or recurring infection to the nose, sinuses, and throat. Cultures can be obtained during the procedure to assist in the identification of infectious organisms and to determine appropriate treatments. Therapeutic applications include drainage of infected sinuses and administration of medications directly to the site of infection. The procedure is usually done in a health-care provider's (HCP's) office, but if done as a surgical procedure, the endoscope may be used to remove polyps from the nose or throat.


  • Identify nasal obstruction.
  • Assess recurrent sinusitis.

Interfering Factors


Potential Medical Diagnosis: Clinical Significance of Results

Abnormal Findings In:

  • Foreign bodies in the nose
  • Growths in the nasal passages
  • Polyps
  • Sinusitis

Nursing Implications

Before the Study: Planning and Implementation

Teaching the Patient What to Expect

  • Inform the patient this procedure can assist in locating and treating infection of the sinus or surrounding areas.
  • Review the procedure with the patient. Address concerns about pain and explain that a local anesthetic spray or liquid may be applied to the throat to ease with insertion of the endoscope.
  • Inform the patient that the procedure is usually performed in the office of an HCP, is usually done with the patient awake and seated upright in a chair, and takes about 10 min.
  • Prior to the study, the patient is seated comfortably and ordered topical anesthetic is instilled in the throat and allowed time to work.
  • The endoscope is inserted, and the structures inside the nose are examined.
  • A specimen container is labelled with the corresponding patient demographics, initials of the person collecting the specimen, date, and time of collection, if cultures are to be obtained on aspirated sinus material.

Potential Nursing Actions

Make sure a written and informed consent has been signed prior to the procedure and before administering any medications.

After the Study: Potential Nursing Actions

Avoiding Complications

  • Bleeding; cerebrospinal fluid leakage from the ethmoid sinus

Treatment Considerations

  • Instruct the patient to wait until the numbness in the throat wears off before attempting to eat or drink following the procedure.

Followup Evaluation and Desired Outcomes

  • Acknowledges that based on the results of the procedure, further testing or additional procedures may be needed to resolve conditions identified by endoscopy.

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