Indexed on: 24 Oct '03Published on: 24 Oct '03Published in: Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology
Sinusitis is one of the most common reasons patients visit their primary care physician. The etiology of sinusitis is multifactorial in most cases. However, the final common pathway of disruption is usually made with a thorough history. The physical examination is often unremarkable. Complaints of nasal obstruction, mucopuluent nasal drainage, and facial pain/pressure are most diagnostic chronic sinusitis. Isolated headache is an uncommon presenting symptom. Computed tomography scans are the gold standard for diagnostic imaging. They can be used both for diagnosis and surgical treatment. All chronic sinusitis patients, being considered for endoscopic sinus surgery, should have failed a trial of maximal medical therapy. This includes a 4-6 wk course of oral antibiotics, nasal steroids, topical nasal decongestants, and oral prednisone if possible. Patients who fail maximal medical therapy have persistent symptoms that significantly effect their daily activities, have chronic abnormalities on computed tomography scan, and are candidates for endoscopic sinus surgery. Appropriate patient selection and preoperative counseling are key factors in patient satisfaction. Most patients with symptoms that significantly impact their daily activities will receive marked improvement in symptoms after sinus surgery. Endoscopic sinus surgery has undergone radical changes in the last 15 yr. Minimally invasive techniques, combined with advances in instrumentation and computers have reduced postoperative discomfort and improved patient satisfaction.