You only use about 10 percent of your brain; lightning never strikes the same place twice; brown eggs are more nutritious than white. These are all myths. You may have heard them a hundred times, but it still doesn’t make them true.

Medical procedures are often surrounded by myths. Here are some common myths about sinus surgery.  Now you know they aren’t true!

Sinus surgery is a nose job

Whether for reconstructive or cosmetic purposes, a “nose job” is a rhinoplasty. Any sinus surgery is a form of sinuplasty. The procedures are not the same. If you have sinus surgery or surgery to remove polyps it will not change the shape of your nose. Your friends won’t know you had surgery unless you tell them. In rare instances, there might be some swelling immediately after the procedure but the shape of your nose will not be changed by sinus surgery

Sinus surgery makes you look like a raccoon

You will not have black eyes after sinus surgery is performed. Endoscopic sinus surgery does not cause bruising. There is no change in your facial appearance. You won’t look like a raccoon, an opossum, or a squirrel unless that is the way you looked before surgery.

Seriously, sinus surgery does not involve making incisions in the face. It doesn’t cause bruising and blood doesn’t pool under the skin in your eye area. If constant sinus infections have caused your eyes to become swollen, you will find that the only change is a reduction in that swelling. 

Your nose is packed with gauze

Once upon a time, it was common for surgical procedures on the sinuses to end with packing the nose. Horror stories about the pain associated with removal of this padding date back to the early days of sinus surgery. Some sinus surgeries (like balloon sinuplasty) require no packing. Many surgeries involve very little loss of blood (under 50 cc) so packing is unnecessary. When packing is used, dissolving packing is the material of choice. This packing slowly dissolves and is absorbed back into the body so painful removal is not necessary.

Sinus surgery prevents colds, flu and sinusitis

During sinus surgery, proper drainage of the sinuses is restored (or corrected in the case of a congenital defect). In addition, any accumulated discharge or pus is removed. The goal is to create an environment where the sinuses drain properly.

This does not mean that you will never catch another cold or the flu again. Bacteria and viruses can still infect your respiratory system. However, because your sinuses drain properly the chances of you having infected sinuses, as a result, is reduced. Sinus infections can still happen, but chronic sinus infections (lasting 12 weeks or more) should be a rarity and not the norm.

If your ENT has suggested sinus surgery, don’t assume that the “facts” you know about sinus surgery are true.  Many of these “facts” are myths; and sinus surgery is not something to fear.