The Nose Knows: Sinus Surgery
Peggy Myszkowski had a terrible sinus infection for six months. “It was really bad,” says Peggy. “Sometimes I would get coughing attacks and I’d have to get up and walk out of meetings because I couldn’t stop.”
Peggy went to several doctors to try to find a cure. They kept testing, and prescribing antibiotics, but nothing helped.
She finally went to see Dr. Howard Yerman, chairman of the department of Otolaryngology at DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital. He told Peggy that that the antibiotics weren’t working because the area where all her sinuses drained was very inflamed, and so nothing could drain. Dr. Yerman suggested surgery, with the objective of increasing the diameter of the passages so the mucus could drain more effectively.
Most of the sinuses drain through an area of the ethmoid sinus. The ethmoid sinus is like a long, narrow building with a number of interior walls. The goal of sinus surgery is to go in and remove the interior walls, leaving the exterior walls intact, improving what used to be a convoluted passageway for the mucus to drain and making it a “straight shot.”
With Peggy under general anesthetic, Dr. Yerman first used an endoscope with a tiny camera on the end to check out her nasal passage on a monitor.
Then, to actually perform this delicate and complex surgery, he employed a revolutionary image-guided system that gives precise and highly detailed 3-D images. These images help guide surgical instruments through twisting nasal passages deep into the blocked sinus cavities. There, he trims and removes both tissue and bone with care and precision.
According to Dr. Yerman, “The beauty of image-guided surgery is that in doing the procedure we don’t violate those important structures; we don’t enter into the bone that surrounds the eye; we don’t enter into the bone that separates us from the brain. It allows us to do the procedure more safely and more completely.”
The whole procedure took about ninety minutes, and Peggy went home later that same day, looking forward to a brief recovery period.
Patients who have undergone the same procedure report improvements in their speech, sense of smell and taste, breathing and sleep.
To connect with a doctor, please call 888-DMC-2500.