Image guided sinus surgery is essentially like using a sophisticated GPS system to navigate the sinuses when performing sinus surgery. This technology allows accuracy and precision in performing surgical techniques to alleviate blocked sinuses. In other words, it enhances safety and better results for patients.
During image guided surgery, Dr. Sikand uses instruments that are coordinated to the individual patient’s CT (CAT) scan in addition to endoscopic video imaging. This helps to determine the precise location of the natural sinus openings, diseased tissue, nasal polyps, and other structures within the nose and sinuses.
Photos courtesy of Maile Narro
Nevada Sinus Relief has an in office CT scanner as well as state-of-the-art image guidance technology available for all in office sinus procedures. The most recently acquired system is called the Fiagon Cube 4D and VirtuEye for sinus surgery. This system was developed in Germany and validated during thousands of sinus procedures.
Nevada Sinus Relief was one of the first four sites in North America to acquire this technology. In the past several years, and the course of many procedures, we have been very pleased with the performance of the navigation equipment and it’s assistance in achieving excellent surgical outcomes.
What Kind of Sinus Procedures May Involve Image Guidance?
We are proud of our ability to offer patients the benefits of advanced technology in sinus care. The development of image guided sinus surgeries enables Dr. Sikand to visualize surgical areas to accurately locate blockages and sources of sinus symptoms. Procedures using imaging can open the sinuses and restore airflow, reduce or reposition bony tissue that is causing a blockage, remove nasal polyps, and remove diseased tissue inside of the sinus cavities as needed to improve sinus health.
When is Image Guided Sinus Surgery Recommended?
Dr. Sikand may suggest image guided sinus surgery for a number of reasons. This technique may be ideal when a sinus procedure will incur incisions or tissue removal near important blood vessels or vital structures. It may be a beneficial surgical technique if your sinuses or nasal passages are distorted in any way. Image guided sinus surgery is often performed for the removal of cysts or polyps. The advantage of this technique for these situations is that the operations can be adjusted in real-time as obstructions and other critical structures are observed.
If you've had sinus surgery to remove nasal polyps in the past, image guided sinus surgery may be recommended for future polyp removal. This is because your previous surgery may have caused some scar tissue to develop in the sinuses. Image guidance enables the doctor to work around the delicate areas of scarring.
What are the Benefits of Image Guided Sinus Surgery?
The primary benefit gained through image guided sinus surgery is the accuracy of the surgical field visualization. The better the doctor can observe the surgical area, the more precise the procedure can be. The use of high-quality CT scan imaging during sinus surgery provides a real-time, 3-dimensional view of the sinuses and nearby structures, including the eyes, blood vessels, and nerves. The clear visualization of these structures lowers the risks associated with sinus procedures.
What is Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery?
The use of CT scan imaging is beneficial for the performance of certain endoscopic sinus procedures. Referred to as FESS, or functional endoscopic sinus surgery, these procedures are done with the goal of restoring normal physiology to the sinus drainage pathways through the removal or correction of key pieces of tissue. Endoscopic sinus procedures are a significant advancement compared to open sinus surgery. During these procedures, the doctor uses endoscopes, which are very narrow telescopes with cameras and tiny instruments attached. The endoscopes are inserted through the nose without the need for incisions to access the sinuses.
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery offers several advantages over open sinus surgery aside from being minimally invasive. Using endoscopic imaging alone, the doctor can better visualize the nasal passages and sinus cavities. There are no visible scars incurred during endoscopic procedures and very little chance of needing nasal packing after surgery. Studies suggest that post-operative healing also occurs more quickly for patients who receive endoscopic treatment as opposed to open sinus surgery.