For this test, the sinus cavity is punctured with a needle, and a sample of the sinus contents is obtained. A culture and sensitivity test is often done on the sample to identify the bacteria, virus, or fungus causing the infection and to determine which medicine will be most effective in treating it. Cells taken from the sample may be studied under a microscope. The sinus cavity is then usually flushed with saline solution.
Needle puncture and aspiration of the sinus may be needed when a person has repeated sinus infections. More accurate information about which organism is causing the infection may help the doctor and you make better treatment decisions.
The organism causing the infection can be identified. Other tests can determine which antibiotic will be most effective in treating the infection.
This procedure is considered necessary only when standard antibiotics have not worked.
It is usually done by an ear, nose, and throat doctor (otolaryngologist).
The procedure is somewhat uncomfortable, and in rare cases it can cause the infection to spread. Children and some adults may require medicine to keep them calm and relieve pain. General anesthesia may be needed in some cases.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.