Rhinology/Sinus and Skull Base Surgery
The rhinology team at UW. Medicine is a group of ENT surgeons and health care providers with subspecialty training and expertise in the medical and surgical treatment of diseases involving the sinuses, nose, and anterior skull base. We treat conditions that often have a significant impact on people’s quality of life. Fixing a persistent sinus infection with medicine or surgery can dramatically improve a person’s comfort, energy level, and ability to function in life activities. Similarly, restoring breathing through the nose can significantly help with sleeping and exercise tolerance
Our approach to the patient involves performing a comprehensive evaluation using state-of-the-art technologies and a team approach with our colleagues in other specialties to determine the proper diagnosis and treatment plan for each individual patient. Often the initial line of treatment is using medical therapy. If medication does not work to improve a person’s symptoms, then when we consider surgery. The ultimate decision is made by the patient. We pride ourselves on giving the patient the best, most up-to-date information available to make an informed decision. Being in a university medical center, not only do we know the latest research and newest techniques, but in many cases we are the ones developing those new treatment strategies. We work closely with our UW Medicine colleagues in allergy, immunology, pulmonary, infectious diseases, and neurosurgery. The result is an enhanced, coordinated approach to treatment of the whole patient.
We also treat many serious conditions including CSF leaks and skull base tumors. This area is called endoscopic skull base surgery and often uses our expertise along with that of neurosurgeons to work together as a team to fix these problems. In addition, there are several eye conditions that require both rhinologist and a specially trained eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) to work together for ideal treatment.
Conditions treated include:
- Sinusitis (including nasal polyps)
- Nasal congestion (septal deviation and turbinate hypertrophy)
- CSF leaks (rhinorrhea)
- Endoscopic skull base tumors and sinus tumors
- Loss of smell function
- Epistaxis (bloody nose and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia [HHT])
- Epiphora (excessive tears draining down the cheeks)
Our team sees patients with a wide spectrum of severity of disease from the most simple sinus and nasal problems to the most advanced sinus and nasal issues involving highly complex issues and tumors of the sinuses and skull base.
We have active research and development programs in many aspects of skull base surgery. These include NIH-funded studies with collaboration in the Departments of Neurological Surgery, Bioengineering, and Electrical Engineering. Multiple patents and devices have resulted from these projects, as well as new procedures and novel techniques in virtual surgery, preoperative surgical planning, and computer-aided surgery.