When your nose is stuffy and your head feels like it's going to explode you could have a sinus infection. If it doesn't go away on it's own or with medication what are your other options? Your sinuses are awfully close to some very important body parts; your eyes, carotid arteries and brain-- so surgery can be risky. Now a high tech system allows doctors to see your sinuses in greater detail cutting the risk of damage.
The sphenoid sinus is behind the nose in the center of your head. Usually it has two sections. When it fills with infection it can be difficult to see with an endoscope. Standard surgery would be risky. To make sure not to damage the brain, Dr. David Pearson from the Mayo Clinic uses image-guided technology. A tracking device maps out the dimensions of the head. The map is then recreated in a 3-D image on a monitor in the O.R. The image shows Dr. Pearson exactly where his instruments are. "It's like the difference between walking around the woods with a map and walking around with a global positioning system." Less risk of injury allows for a more thorough job of clearing the infection. Dr. Pearson says this technology will likely be the standard of care for sinus surgery in the near future.
For more information you can log on to www.medicaledge.org.