Typcial Patient Concerns


Is surgery necessary?

At present, surgery is the most effective way to permanently correct a nasal or sinus blockage. The CT scans identify sinuses affected by recurrent sinus disease and blockage. Postoperatively we see the same sinuses after endoscopic removal of the blockage which has restored normal drainage.

Before Endoscopy

After Endoscopy


What is an endoscope?

An endoscope is a thin metal tube with a lens on one end and an eyepiece on the other. It works like a telescope, giving the surgeon an excellent interior view of the sinuses. He may then cut precisely at the point where the blockage occurs. A laser is a device that focuses light energy to perform cutting without a knife. The newer lasers, as used by Dr. Toffel, are placed under swollen tissues to shrink them without damaging the overlying lining.



What is Stereotactic computer-guided ...

Stereotactic computer-guided sinus surgery adds another level of safety and precision for difficult and revision cases which Dr. Toffel frequently manages. A personal satellite is placed on the patient's head while stereotactic computer x-ray scans are taken pre-operatively. Then at surgery, the satellite head-set is plugged into a computer work station which demonstrates 3-D computer x-rays the location of the working surgical instruments in real time while the surgeon is operating. Dr. Toffel devoted many years to helping develop these systems, which are now practical.


Is it safe?

Endoscopic laser-assisted sinus surgery is safe in the hands of an experienced surgeon. It requires less cutting, causes less tissue trauma and poses fewer complications than traditional sinus surgery. It is simple enough to be done on an outpatient basis. Follow-up data from over 3000 surgeries performed by Dr. Toffel have indicated 91% resolution of obstructive symptoms with no serious complications.


How long?

The actual surgical procedure takes about 90 minutes, followed by another hour in the recovery room. Patients usually go home on the same day, or may stay overnight for comfort.


Time required?

The endoscopic and laser technique requires less recuperative time than traditional sinus surgery. Depending upon the specific case, a patient can usually return to work in a little over a week. Recovery is significant within 6 weeks, but some acclimating of the sinuses takes place through the following seasons.



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