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Archive June 2016 XVII, No. 6

4 Hot Trends in Sinus Surgery

Top docs reveal how and where procedures will be performed in the not-too-distant future.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Editor-in-Chief


treatment of sinus disease SINUS SURGERY OUTCOMES From 3D modeling to drug-eluting implants, there's a lot going on in the treatment of sinus disease.

Image-guidance and improved instrumentation already let surgeons perform endoscopic sinus surgery with unprecedented levels of accuracy and safety. Could the procedures get any easier? Can outcomes get any better? Will cases shift to the office? Absolutely, say several forward-thinking surgeons who have their fingers on the pulse of 4 hot trends that promise to revolutionize the treatment of sinus disease.

1Pre-op planning with 3D modeling
Doctors could one day use 3D technology to design customized models that map out individual surgeries before surgeons step into the OR. Otolaryngologists at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus are exploring whether a computer program based on fluid dynamics — used for years in the aerodynamic industry — could simulate a patient's airflow so doctors could better understand the physiology underlying nasal function and, in turn, nasal symptoms.

"Using the 3D model would reveal the anatomical variations found in individual patients in order to maximize surgical outcomes," says Alex Farag, MD. "You'd be able to assess which treatments or surgical approaches would work best, and you might even be able to predict outcomes."

When people complain of sinus-related symptoms, there's a lot of overlap between several disease processes, points out Dr. Farag. "A headache could be caused by really bad septum deviation, sinus issues or a migraine disorder," he says. "If you're better able to define the disease, you're better able to find out exactly what's going on and treat it."

The 3D modeling technology is a more individualized CT scan for refining treatment plans, says Dr. Farag, who adds there's no worse feeling than performing surgery on a patient that should have worked, but didn't.

"Nasal obstruction is currently categorized as one thing, but I'll bet you the problem is much more diverse," says Dr. Farag. "How do you identify those differences, and which intervention would make a difference for which patients? We want to find out."

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