How effective are surgical procedures in the treatment of acute sinusitis?

Updated: Apr 22, 2020
  • Author: Ted L Tewfik, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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In today's era of minimally invasive surgical techniques, sinus endoscopy is commonly used to achieve sinus drainage. It offers the advantages of (1) being able to open multiple sinuses or to decompress the orbit in cases of complications and (2) allowing the surgeon to open the natural ostia of the involved sinuses.

The techniques and complications of open and endoscopic sinus surgical approaches are discussed in articles dealing with their individual surgical management.

A study by Patel et al suggested that after complicated acute pediatric sinusitis resolves following initial medical or surgical intervention, few patients require subsequent surgical treatment. The investigators reviewed the records of 86 children and adolescents, aged 2 months to 18 years, with either orbital (80 patients) or intracranial (6 patients) complications of acute sinusitis; the children were treated either surgically (27 patients) or medically (59 patients) during the acute phase of the disease. The study determined that four of the patients treated surgically and five of those treated medically needed surgery following the initial resolution of their sinusitis; eight of the nine patients required it because medical therapy failed for persistent rhinosinusitis, and one needed it after a second complication developed. [12]

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