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Clinical Challenges in Otolaryngology
October 2000

Directed Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery and Headaches

Author Affiliations

KAREN H.CALHOUNMDRONALD B.KUPPERSMITHMDFrom the Division of Rhinology and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.


Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(10):1274-1276. doi:10.1001/archotol.126.10.1274

Limited functional endoscopic sinus surgery has a good chance of curing headache in the patient who has frontal and/or retro-orbital headaches, mild mucosal edema on endoscopy, and a normal sinus computed tomographic (CT) scan.

In considering the relationship of sinus disease and headaches, Stammberger and Wolf1 divide headache patients into 3 groups. One group has headaches specifically linked to sinonasal abnormalities, such as inflammatory disease, neoplasm, barotrauma, or other readily identifiable causes. A second group has headaches unrelated to sinus causes, such as migraines, neuralgias, ophthalmologic problems, and vascular problems. The third group has no clear cause for their headaches, and a sinus origin cannot be clearly identified. This third group poses a challenge for otolaryngologists and is the subject of this report.

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