Endoscopic Sinus Surgery - Atlanta Institute for ENT

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Developed in the 1950s, the nasal endoscope has revolutionized sinusitis surgery. In the past, the surgical strategy was to remove all sinus mucosa from the major sinuses. The use of an endoscope is linked to the theory that the best way to obtain normal, healthy sinuses is to open the natural pathways to the sinuses. Once an improved drainage system is achieved, the diseased sinus mucosa has an opportunity to return to normal.

FESS involves the insertion of the endoscope (a very thin fiber-optic tube) into the nose for a direct, visual examination of the openings into the sinuses. With state-of-the art micro-telescopes and instruments, abnormal and obstructive tissues are then removed. In the majority of cases, the surgical procedure is performed entirely through the nostrils, leaving no external scars. There is little swelling and only mild discomfort.

A big advantage of the procedure is that it is less extensive than traditional sinus surgery, there is often less removal of normal tissues, and it can frequently be performed on an outpatient basis. After the operation, the patient will sometimes need nasal packing (application of gauze or cotton packs to the nasal chambers). Ten days after the procedure, nasal irrigation may be recommended to prevent crusting.

Image Guided Surgery

The sinuses are physically close to the brain, the eye and major arteries, which are always areas of concern when a fiber optic tube is inserted into the sinus region. The use of a new technology, image guided endoscopic surgery, is alleviating that concern. This type of surgery may be recommended for severe forms of chronic sinusitis, in cases when previous sinus surgery has altered anatomical landmarks, or where a patient’s sinus anatomy is very unusual, making typical surgery difficult.

Image guidance is a near three-dimensional mapping system that combines computed tomography (CT) scans and real-time information about the exact position of surgical instruments using infrared signals. In this way, surgeons can navigate their surgical instruments through complex sinus passages and provide surgical relief more precisely. Image guidance uses some of the same stealth principles used by the United States Armed Forces to guide bombs to their target.

Caldwell Luc operation: Another option is the Caldwell-Luc operation, which relieves chronic sinusitis by improving the drainage of the maxillary sinus, one of the cavities beneath the eye. The maxillary sinus is entered through the upper jaw above one of the second molar teeth. A “window” is created to connect the maxillary sinus with the nose, thus improving drainage. The operation is named after American physician, George Caldwell, and French laryngologist, Henry Luc, and is most often performed when a malignancy is present in the sinus cavity.

To obtain the best treatment option, the physician needs to properly assess the patient’s history and symptoms and then progress through a structured physical examination. Please make an appointment with our doctors at 404-257-1589 to discuss your symptoms and determine what treatments are appropriate for you.

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