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Archive January 2019 XX, No. 1

Innovations in Sinus Surgery

4 advances in opening the pathways of the sinuses and clearing blockages.

Kendal Gapinski

Kendal Gapinski, Contributing Editor


Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital
GPS "Navigation can help reinforce where you are in the sinus cavity and reduce the risk of complications," says Jeffrey S. Wolf, MD, FACS.

Patients seeking treatment for chronic sinus infections want lasting relief fast, and fortunately the latest innovations promise to help physicians deliver those results. ENT navigation systems, improved instruments, drug-eluting stents and improved balloon dilation systems are all promising to improve sinus surgery for patients and physicians alike. Here's what you should know about the latest technological advances.

1 ENT navigation Once reserved for only the most difficult cases, ENT navigation is now commonplace in most sinus surgeon's toolkits, says Jeffrey S. Wolf, MD, FACS, professor of otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "I would think that it's being used by many surgeons a majority of the time," he says. "It is not the standard of care yet, but it is widely used."

The latest systems help doctors navigate through the sinuses using a 3D map that is created by using CT scans of the patient. By viewing 3-dimensional images of the sinuses during surgery, the computer imaging can give surgeons better visibility in guiding the surgical instruments around vital structures such as the optic nerve and skull base. These images help surgeons avoid orbital and skull base injuries, and are especially helpful when working on patients with altered anatomy from severe polyps or prior procedures, says Dr. Wolf. "Navigation can help reinforce where you are in the sinus cavity and reduce the risk of complications," he says.

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