State-of-the-Art Sinus Surgeries Come to CMH

Dr. Paul D. Warrick

For sufferers of chronic sinusitis, constant symptoms sometimes including facial pain and headaches can be severe. In a story for ABC News, Jenette Restivo quotes ABCNEWS Medical Editor, Dr. Timothy Johnson as saying, "Chronic sinusitis can turn into a devastating problem. In fact, a recent study suggests that chronic sinusitis can cause more pain and disability than congestive heart failure, lung disease and back pain combined."

In image-guided endoscopic sinus surgery, the surgeon inserts a small tube or endoscope into the nose. He or she is then aided by an almost three-dimensional image of the patient's sinuses created by CT-scans and infrared signals that help the surgeon to more precisely navigate the patient's complex sinus passages. Precision in sinus surgery is important as the sinuses are very close to the brain, the eyes, and major arteries in the head. Image-guided endoscopic sinus surgery may also be of greater benefit to patients who have had previous sinus surgeries because it can help the surgeon to better see and navigate areas where scar-tissue may have built-up from the patient's previous procedures.

Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure in which a surgeon also uses an endoscope, this time to insert a small balloon catheter into a sinus cavity. The surgeon then inflates the balloon, expanding the sinus cavity. It is the goal of balloon sinuplasty to gently reshape the sinus cavity while leaving the sinus membranes unaltered. The expanded sinus cavity can allow for better sinus drainage and better breathing along with relief of sinus pressure. Recovery from balloon sinuplasty can be shorter than previous sinus surgical techniques because there are no incisions in the face or mouth.

Piedmont Vista Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy and The George M. Hancock Surgery Center are divisions of Caldwell Memorial Hospital.