Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Waging a high-tech war against sinusitis

17.08.2005


SLU physician touts benefits of painless endoscopy, image-guided surgery



Coughing, headaches, fatigue, post-nasal drip and intense pressure throughout the face. For millions of Americans, these aren’t just the side effects of a short bout with the flu, but what they experience every day living with sinusitis.

"Sinusitis is the most commonly reported chronic disease in the United States, and it can be very debilitating," says Raj Sindwani, M.D., a SLUCare otolaryngologist and assistant professor of otolaryngology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. "The quality of life in patients with chronic sinusitis can be worse than in those with emphysema, congestive heart failure, or back pain, not to mention the direct costs of treating patients who suffer from sinus infections."


Sindwani is on a mission to teach patients about modern treatments for sinusitis so they can literally breathe easier. As the head of the SLUCare Comprehensive Sinus Clinic, which brings together allergists, otolaryngologists and radiologists, he says patients no longer need to go through antiquated or painful procedures.

"It’s very Star Trek-esque"

The first step, he says, is performing a painless sinonasal endoscopy to check patients’ sinuses for sites of blockage, polyps and infection.

"Before sinonasal endoscopy, our ability to look directly into someone’s nose and sinuses was very limited," he says. "When a scope is not available, a light source or ear speculum is used to look into the nasal cavity. Only a very limited view of the front part of the nose is obtained this way."

But not anymore. Now Dr. Sindwani uses a tiny telescope that is guided up into the nose and sinuses to look for signs of blockage. With no anesthesia needed, the procedure allows Sindwani to take a closer look at the actual drainage pathways of the sinuses to rule out any problems that may be contributing to the patient’s sinus symptoms; Sindwani cites nasal polyps, cysts, scar tissue from previous surgeries and crooked septums as common culprits.

If an infection is detected, the endoscope can also be used to sample some of the pus present within the nose and sinuses, which can then be cultured in the lab and help doctors choose the most effective antibiotic for any given infection.

Not only is the endoscopy effective, Sindwani says, but it also has educational and entertainment value.

"The telescope has a camera attached to it, so patients and their families can watch the entire procedure on a monitor. They really love this because it actually lets them see what the problem is instead of just going by what the doctor says," he says. "It’s very Star Trek-esque."

21st century digital surgery

If surgery is needed, doctors can use the same endoscopes used in diagnosing the problem to perform minimally invasive sinus surgery. This particular kind of surgery is the most advanced of its kind, says Sindwani, and has ushered in an entirely new way of thinking among doctors who treat sinusitis.

"At the SLUCare Comprehensive Sinus Clinic, our surgeons also use a state-of-the-art surgical navigation system, which allows them to more safely make their way through the tiny sinus passageways, ensuring that all of the sinuses are adequately opened," Sindwani says. "With the help of a computer, the patient’s CT (computed tomography) scan is used as a roadmap in the operating room, and special instruments are used that are tracked as the surgeon enters each of the patient’s sinuses."

This minimally invasive procedure leaves the patient with no cuts on his nose or face and allows the surgeon to get a magnified view of the sinuses during surgery – "and using image-guided technology only adds a few minutes to the procedure," Sindwani says.

He recommends image-guided surgery for patients who have had previous sinus surgery or those with abnormal anatomy or extensive sinus disease.

And for more advanced problems unrelated to the sinuses, Sindwani uses those same surgical navigation systems and endoscopes to access other areas of the head to perform surgeries for serious problems, such as thyroid disease affecting the eyes and even brain tumors.

"In patients with thyroid diseases, we can decrease the bulging of their eyes and improve their vision," Sindwani says. "We can also remove tumors of the brain or pituitary gland through the nose without incisions on the face or head. This means they can go home more quickly to their families, jobs and lives."

Sindwani says he is optimistic about the future for sinusitis sufferers.

"Sinusitis is not just a stuffy or runny nose; it oftentimes is a very serious medical condition," Sindwani says. "But as long as we continue to be open to breakthrough technologies and procedures, we can make life a lot better for patients."

Rachel Otto | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.slu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>