Maxillary Antral - Sinus Washout

What is Maxillary Antral Sinus Washout?

Maxillary antral sinus washout clears the maxillary sinus of infectious drainage. The washout is primarily for the patients who are frequently affected by sinus infections and who cannot do away with these complications with antibiotics or sprays. The maxilla (Cheek Bone) is vacuous. The space inside is called a sinus. The sinus in the maxilla is called the antrum and is very spacious.

The sinus in the cheek bone has a tiny drain hole which directs to the upper part, inside the nose. Usually this hole lets in air. Infection may possibly drain from the sinus into nose. The drainage fills or blocks the maxillary sinus cavity causing cheek or tooth pain. Normally antibiotics and sprays will manipulate the infection and let the hole unblock itself. Sometimes it continues having blockages despite this treatment. In such cases, where the sinus cannot clear the drainage itself and requires medical treatment, sinus needs to be washed out to be cleaned of the infection.


Patient will be given general anesthesia putting the patient to sleep.

A fine metal tube will be pushed into the nose and through the thin bone of the maxilla into the sinus. Saline water will be flushed through the tube into the sinus.

The saline water will come out of the little drain hole in the sinus, and drain into the nose. Any pus or infected fluid will come out as well.

A specimen of the infected fluid will be taken so that it can be examined for the cause of the infection to be identified. The metal tube will then be taken out. The inside of the nose usually heals very quickly.

If the little hole in the sinus is blocked by infection, or if the infection is very bad, the surgeon will make a bigger hole into the sinus to help drain the infection away.

Post Procedure

Patient will be given oxygen from a face mask for a few hours if he/she has had any chest problems in the past, due to smoking or obesity.

Nose may be a little sore after the operation which can be controlled by painkilling tablets.

If the patient has been given antibiotics or nasal drops, he/she will need to use them for a couple of days.

General anesthetic may make the patient slow, clumsy and forgetful for about 24 hours.

Patient may need to meet the surgeon again to check the progress.

No of days for the treatment

4-5 hours. If the effect of the anesthetic is not going away quickly and patient feels drowsy or sleepy, he/she might need to stay in the hospital for one night and go home the day after the operation.


There is a very small risk of complications related to your heart and the lungs because of the administration of general anesthesia.

Nose may bleed, if it is few drops then no need to worry. But if it is continually bleeding then should be consulted with the surgeon.

There is a small risk of infection at the area of the operation. If it develops increasing pain in the cheek bone or the nose, a headache or a temperature, it probably means that an infection is developing and will need medical attention promptly. Taking antibiotics for a week or two normally solves the problem.

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