Chronic sinus infections are caused by a variety of bacteria. When an initial course of broad-spectrum antibiotic has failed to adequately treat sinusitis, endoscopically guided sinus cultures become a very important tool. It is a useful procedure in appropriately treating the infection and eradicating the offending bacteria.
How is a Sinus Culture Taken?
The procedure is done in the office setting. Your nose is anesthetized with nasal spray or gel. A nasal endoscope is used to inspect the usual areas of sinus drainage and likely obtain a sample of the sinus drainage.
Typically, this is painless and it takes less than a minute to obtain the culture. This is then placed in a culture tube and sent to an outside lab for identification of bacteria. If positive for bacteria, this will determine which antibiotic is the most appropriate for treatment.
Usually, culture results take 2-3 business days to get back, but can take longer depending if bacteria is present or not.
Why Are Endoscopically Guided Sinus Cultures Important?
Direct cultures of sinus drainage are important in order to initiate the best antibiotic treatment. This allows Dr. Sikand to specifically target the bacteria that is causing persistent sinus infections. This type of test results in a higher success rate for treatment and improvement in your symptoms. This method is also used in the operative setting during sinus surgeries.