Skip to content
March 20, 2015 / drjamesfreije

When Is an Ethmoidectomy Necessary?

As an associate head and neck surgeon at Mount Nittany Physician Group, board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. James Freije provides comprehensive surgical care for adults and children. For those with chronic sinus infections, Dr. James Freije sometimes recommends an ethmoidectomy to improve sinus drainage.

The ethmoid sinuses are air-filled pockets located between the eyes near the bridge of the nose. When these sinuses function correctly, mucus drains from them into the nose. The frontal and maxillary sinuses, located in the forehead and cheeks, also drain through the ethmoid sinuses. Ethmoid sinusitis occurs when this sinus cavity becomes blocked and swollen due to infection, which prevents proper drainage of mucus.

Conservative treatments, including decongestants, steroid nasal drops, and nasal irrigation, often improve the pain and pressure of sinusitis. However, patients with chronic infections can often benefit from ethmoidectomy, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that involves removing infected bone and other tissues inside the ethmoid sinuses. To perform the procedure, the otolaryngologist first places a small instrument called an endoscope, which has a light and camera at the end, up the nasal cavity to view the ethmoid sinuses. Once the problem areas are identified, the surgeon uses tiny surgical instruments to precisely remove infection and damaged tissues and promote natural mucus drainage.

%d bloggers like this: