Otolaryngologist Dr. Craig Schwimmer performs the FinESS procedure, a unique, minimally invasive approach for treating sinusitis.
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The FinESS Procedure for Sinusitis Dr. Travis Stork: Dr. Craig Schwimmer, medical director of the Snoring Center, is one of the dozen people performing the FinESS procedure to help relive chronic, sinus infections. So welcome. Dr. Andrew Ordon: Welcome back! Dr. Travis Stork: So first things first, you’re free to tell everyone how miserable you’ve been with all these recurring infections in your sinuses. Linda: Oh gosh, it’s really been bad. Really, my whole life especially last year I had just really a lot of chronic infections that really made, really sluggish and tired and just totally tired of being sick all the time, basically. Dr. Travis Stork: Well, that’s why you’re here and we have a cool animation. If you can walk us through what this procedures because it’s so very cool, I love this procedure. Dr. C. Schwimmer: So what we’re looking at now is we’re looking into the maxillary sinus with the cheek sinus and there’s this little balloon sneaking up towards what called the osteomeatal complex or the infundibulum. That’s the drainage pathway for the sinus and if that isn’t open the sinus can’t drain and its get infected. And we see a balloon being inserted and inflated to make that passageway bigger. You can think of it sort of like an angioplasty for the sinus and it’s brilliant. This is a -- Dr. Drew Ordon: Right, this is not your grandmother’s sinus surgery. This is cool stuff. Now why is Linda such a perfect candidate? Dr. C. Schwimmer: She’s perfect because she has been sick a lot for long. She’s had ten sinus infections. She has been treated with appropriate antibiotics and steroids and she gets better and she gets worse again, she gets better and she gets worse again, and she does not want to have to go to the operating room and have formal surgery. Dr. Drew Ordon: And what you explained to me it’s best for the maxillary sinuses, your anterior sinuses. Dr. C. Schwimmer: Exactly, so this treatment is best for the anterior sinuses. For the maxillary sinus maybe a little anterior ethmoid disease was behind that. Dr. Drew Ordon: I can’t believe we’re doing it right here. Dr. Travis Stork: And to explain, I want everyone to understand the audience and at home. The reason that Dr. Schwimmer’s holding that there is -- she is actually created an opening in the bone to get into the sinuses and that’s the little tunnel that you’re going to use in this procedure. Dr. C. Schwimmer: Exactly, and this is really a molding of something very old and something very new. Back in the day, we use to be something called a Caldwell-Luc procedure and you would make a big incision under the cheek and get into the cheek sinus and that works really well but it’s very, very painful and people would swell and so that’s a miserable thing to offer. Dr. Travis Stork: Major operation? Dr. C. Schwimmer: Yes, big deal. Well, this is a twist on it where we incorporate angioplasty technology and the tiny little hole through this sheath that we just, we’ve poke in with a little hole. Under local anesthetic it takes a few minutes and it allows us to access directly the area of interest and will resolve the problem. Dr. Travis Stork: So Linda are you ready. Linda: I am so ready. Dta Let’s do it. Dr. C. Schwimmer: So what we’re going to do is we’re going to introduce this camera into the sheath and now we’re in the maxillary sinus and right here at one o’clock is the drainage port. That’s the hole that we’re looking to enlarge because it’s too small so it’s not working effectively. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to take a little balloon -- Dr. Drew Ordon: And you actually can see some sinus disease in there, can’t you? Dr. C. Schwimmer: Absolutely. A tissue was inflamed and you can actually see earlier with the other camera. We saw some pus and some mucus in there. Dr. Drew Ordon: So sinus disease, it’s all about the natural opening not being opened. What you’re doing is you’re enlarging and making sure

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