Chronic sinusitis affects 31 million people in the U.S. and accounts for more than 16 million outpatient visits a year – and countless time lost. In the past, sinus surgery was invasive, often performed through external incisions, and associated with significant pain. Today, at the Michigan Sinus Center, within the Division of Laryngology, Rhinology and General Otolaryngology at the University of Michigan Health System, our endoscopic approaches to nasal and sinus disorders are less invasive, less painful and yield great results. And our patients know we care about them.
We treat the full scope of nasal and sinus disorders, including:
- Allergic rhinitis – an inflammation of the membranes lining the nose
- Chronic sinusitis with polyps – an inflammation of the sinuses that lasts more than 12 weeks and is associated with nasal polyps
- Chronic sinusitis without polyps
- Fungal sinusitis – includes allergic fungal sinusitis and fungal ball plus acute or chronic invasive fungal sinusitis
- Triad asthma – a clinical syndrome defined by three conditions that exist together: asthma, aspirin sensitivity and nasal polyps
- Cerebral spinal fluid leaks
- Meningoencephalocele – when the lining of brain and/or brain tissue protrude through an opening in the skull
- Inverting papilloma – benign tumors that form inside the nose
- Nasal masses and nasal tumors
- Nasal fractures
- Difficult infections
- Deviated septums
In order to accurately diagnose your issue, we take the time to listen to you. We compile a thorough patient history and review your previous records. Then we provide a detailed head and neck physical exam, which includes using a nasal endoscope to evaluate your nasal cavity. If necessary, we can biopsy a polyp or mass in the office using the endoscope. We also use an endoscope to look at your nose, sinus and larynx. We may also perform a CT scan, if needed, to help diagnose sinus disease.
If we think you have a bacterial infection, we have equipment to painlessly get a culture from your sinuses. This allows us to detect and identify the bacteria in the lab, and test the bacteria to determine the best antibiotics for treating you. No guessing which antibiotics may work.
We use image-guided, minimally invasive surgery to take care of complex medical and surgical issues in patients with sinus disorders. This includes revision surgery, which means the patient has had the surgery elsewhere, but either the polyps came back or there is scar tissue or it hasn’t healed well. We offer an experienced team of surgeons and specialists to make it right. In some cases, we also offer balloon sinuplasty, which involves endoscopically inflating a small balloon in the sinus cavity to open blocked sinuses, which restores normal drainage, and then removing the balloon. And for patients with polyps, we have cutting-edge techniques – both medically and surgically – to slow the growth of polyps.
When it comes to surgical intervention for any kind of health care condition, you should choose a center that performs a high volume of surgeries. In any given year, we perform more than 500 sinus surgeries – roughly 10 each week. Our Otolaryngology Department is one of the oldest in the country, meaning our knowledge is deep. And many of the research and advancements in the field are made here at the University of Michigan.
We provide high-quality, efficient treatment in a multidisciplinary setting by having everyone you need to see right here on site: allergists, asthma specialists, pulmonologists, infectious disease specialists, and ear, nose and throat doctors. We have a strong relationship with our Allergy Department, with whom we work closely to care for patients who have aspirin-sensitive asthma and nasal polyps, known as triad asthma. In fact, we’ve developed advanced treatment programs for triad asthma, including postoperative aspirin desensitization – not commonly available in most community practices. Aspirin desensitization provides substantial relief and much better outcomes for about 70% of patients with triad asthma.