Recent findings from the American Academy of Otolaryngology, which have been published in their journal, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, shows that upwards of 76 percent of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) experienced significant quality of life improvements after undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS).
CRS can lead to significant physical symptoms as well as substantial functional and emotional impairment. Symptoms are often confused with the cold, flu, or allergies but according to the National Health Interview Survey, CRS affects 14 - 16 percent of the U.S. population and has significant socioeconomic implications, with annual direct costs of $4.3 billion. Due to the chronic nature of the disease, and the relatively poor response of some patients to initial medical therapies, patients with CRS undergo 500,000 surgical procedures annually.
The study analyzed 302 patients with CRS from three medical centers between July 2004 and December 2008, and followed the patients for approximately one-and-a-half years postoperatively. The goal of the study was to report outcomes of ESS using prospective, multi-institutional data from a large cohort and validated disease-specific and general health elements.
Results showed 72 -76 percent of patients with CRS experienced significant improvement in disease-specific outcomes after ESS. Clinical factors, including asthma, aspirin intolerance and prior sinus surgery, as well as preoperative diagnostic testing were found to be important potential predictors of outcomes. Ultimately, primary ESS patients were twice as likely to improve after surgery as patients undergoing revision ESS, although a baseline measure of disease severity was worse in the revision ESS group.
Developed in the 1950s, ESS involves the insertion of the endoscope into the nose for a direct visual examination of the openings into the sinuses so that abnormal and obstructive tissues can be removed. Some advantages of the procedure are that the surgery is less extensive, there is often less removal of normal tissues and it can frequently be performed on an outpatient basis.