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Sinus Surgery is Often Easier Than Expected

Posted on June 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

Not all sinus issues require surgery, but Leonard W. Brown, MD, a Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center otolaryngologist, says that when surgery is required, it is not often as difficult as patients might anticipate.

“People still think of sinus surgery as being ‘chisel-and-hammer’ stuff and three yards of packing in your nose. I haven’t routinely packed a nose since 1998,” he said. “Techniques have changed. We are minimally invasive. We are doing more specific incision and extraction. We have a lot of technology now that helps us. We have steroid implants that we can put in to help keep things open, and we have balloons that help dilate the natural opening, and of course, we have navigational equipment like a GPS system that tells me exactly where I am. It really reduces the risks.”

In addition to traditional sinus surgeries, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center can handle sinus procedures ranging from a simple sinuplasty for treatment of blocked sinuses to more complex surgeries.

For example, in severe instances, “sinus disease can lead to a thing called cavernous sinus thrombosis, which drains out to the sigmoid sinus and into the jugular vein,” said Dr. Brown, who has done 10,000 sinus surgeries during his career. “If you have severe sinus disease, it can begin to clot. So we’ve dealt with sinuses with brain abscesses, sinuses on the cusps of the brain.”

Sinus surgery is one of many types of surgical specialties offered at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. To learn more about the various procedures and technologies available, visit