Rhinology and sinus surgery have undergone a tremendous expansion since the discourses of Messerklinger and Wigand in the late 1970s. Imaging advances, increased understanding of the anatomy and the pathophysiology of chronic sinusitis, and image-guided surgery have allowed surgeons to perform more complex procedures with increased safety. Endoscopic sinus surgery is most commonly performed for inflammatory and infectious sinus disease.
Although functional endoscopic sinus surgery is the primary approach used today for the surgical treatment of chronic sinusitis, the time-honored external approaches still play a role. Therefore, familiarity with endoscopic and external approaches, in conjunction with a precise understanding of the anatomy, ensures optimal patient care and outcome.
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