n South African Journal of Surgery - Minimally invasive approach for lesions involving the frontal sinus : ENT

Volume 53, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



Traditional open surgery for frontal sinus pathology and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks is complex and involves a craniotomy. Minimally invasive options offer an alternate solution. We describe and assess the outcome of a minimally invasive approach for lesions and defects involving the frontal sinus.

The technique introduces an endoscope via a small frontal sinusotomy accessed via a small medial brow incision. This allows excellent visualisation of the frontal sinus. Fine thin-shafted instruments traditionally used during tympanoplasty or pituitary surgery are passed through the sinusotomy together with an endoscope for dissection and tissue excision. This technique can be combined with conventional endonasal surgery.
We describe the use of this technique in three patients: A fracture of the posterior table of the right frontal sinus with CSF leak, a right frontal sinus osteoma and a right frontal sinus mucocoele. Symptom resolution occurred in all patients and no short-term postoperative complications occurred.
This approach avoids the morbidity associated with a craniotomy and obviates the need for postoperative intensive care required for conventional osteoplastic flap surgery or extensive endonasal surgery required for the alternative minimally invasive endoscopic technique. Our initial success merits further assessment of the use of this technique.

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