EVMS Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons

Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

As during office visits, the rigid endoscope can be used with surgeries in order to offer improved minimally invasive methods to manage such conditions as chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps, which are characterized by inflammation of the mucosal lining of the nose and sinuses. The primary goal of surgery is to improve the natural drainage passages of the affected sinuses. Endoscopic sinus surgery generally eliminates the need for traditional incisions on the face, although in rare cases, the rigid endoscope may be used through an external incision. Advances in surgical instruments permit greater tissue preservation within the nose and sinuses, facilitating healing, improving outcomes, and decreasing post-operative pain and discomfort. The surgery is commonly performed on an outpatient basis. Recovery after the surgery is often faster than anticipated, as patients typically return to normal activity within a few days. 


Endoscopic sinus surgery is generally reserved for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyps that persist despite aggressive medical treatment. First-line medical treatment typically includes antibiotics, oral steroids, topical nasal sprays, nasal saline, mucus-thinning drugs, and/or anti-allergy medications. Most patients with chronic rhinosinusitis will not require sinus surgery, because medical therapy will often provide relief in symptoms. However, when these treatments do not provide meaningful improvement, or if the symptoms return after treatment is stopped, then endoscopic sinus surgery is considered.