New Techniques Revolutionize Approach To Chronic Sinusitis: Surgery No Longer A Last Resort

The recent development of new Mucosa Sparing procedures has revolutionized our approach to caring for the chronic nasal and sinus patient. Yet, people are still needlessly living with chronic nasal obstruction because they just don’t realize the remedies available to them. Often, sinus symptoms have become such a regular part of a patient’s life, they feel it isn’t noteworthy to mention to a doctor. Patients just assume there’s nothing to do besides take medication. Some may also think of sinus surgery as painful, stressful and out of the question. The bedrock principle we use to cure the vast majority of our chronic nasal and sinus patients is that the sinus cavities can clean themselves and remain healthy if inflammation is controlled medically and sources of obstruction are removed.

Traditional nasal and sinus operations required hammers, chisels, extensive blood loss, and nasal packing. These procedures were reserved for the most severe patients and offered only as a last resort. In contrast, modern instruments and advanced sinus surgical techniques now make it more practical to surgically correct sinus problems in most chronic patients. They should no more go through life with nasal obstruction than with a torn meniscus in the knee.

The nasal and sinus endoscopes we now use are simply modifications of arthroscopes, but smaller and designed to see around corners to visualize the sinus cavities. The instrument we primarily utilize to open the outflow tracts is called a soft-tissue debrider and was based in principle on a similar instrument used in knee surgery to trim cartilage. The advantage of using it in sinus surgery is that it is a suction instrument with spinning blades inside. This allows the delicate removal of the eggshell thin bone and mucosa which obstructs the sinus outflow tracts, while preserving the sinus mucosa. Therefore, there is much less trauma, leading to less bleeding, swelling, and scarring. It allows the return of the normal mucociliary function of the mucosa which is critical for maintaining sterile, healthy sinus cavities. It seems that no matter how swollen and inflamed the mucosal lining is prior to surgery, it generally returns to normal function after adequate drainage has been established and proper control of inflammation has been obtained.

More than a decade of experience has confirmed that with our approach and strategies, the vast majority of chronic nasal and sinus sufferers can be well controlled long-term with a one hour outpatient procedure. There is only mild discomfort, no packing, an extremely low complication rate (well under 1%), and recovery time of 3-5 days before returning to normal activity.

To learn more about this procedure or schedule a patient appointment, please call the office closest to you.

William A. McClelland, MD, FACS - Board Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT)
About the Author
Otolaryngologist (ENT) at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat, PA
Dr. McClelland is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT) as well as the Founding Partner of CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat, PA. His particular clinical interest is minimally invasive sinus surgery.
Access and manage your healthcare information 24/7 from anywhere with our free Patient Portal
It takes less than 2 minutes
Register for Free