Rhinology (Sinus)

Chronic Sinusitis and Endoscopic Skull-Base Surgery

The Department of Otolaryngology at Virginia Mason, in Seattle, Washington, provides highly specialized care in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic sinusitis, nasal tumors and other diseases of the nose and sinuses.

Our rhinology and endoscopic sinus surgery experts include surgeons, nurses, medical and radiation oncologists, speech therapists, pharmacists and many other providers specially trained and certified in cancer care: dietitians, nutritionists, psychologists, physical therapists, social workers and chaplains. We offer the latest technological advances in diagnosing disease as well as cancer surveillance.

About Chronic Sinusitis

Every year an estimated 35 million Americans suffer from a form of sinusitis, a condition marked by inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages. For some patients sinusitis becomes chronic with symptoms that interfere with their quality of life, including:

  • thick drainage from the nose
  • facial pressure or fullness
  • decreased smell or taste
  • nasal congestion or obstruction
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • ear fullness or pressure

Our program offers both medical and surgical treatment options tailored to the best patient outcome. For more information about treatment for sinusitis, call Virginia Mason's Otolaryngology Department at (206) 223-6374

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Endoscopic Skull-Base Surgery

Virginia Mason's Skull Base Surgery Program treats several types of skull base tumors with endoscopes — instruments less than three millimeters wide outfitted with lights and a camera — to reach tumors through the nostril and sinuses. The endoscopes are used with angled surgical tips capable of fine maneuvering to not only reach, but often remove entire tumors: all without external incisions or craniotomy (removal of skull bone). This technique can offer numerous advantages to the patient, including a shorter recovery time, less pain and a reduced risk of complications.

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Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery Care Team

The multidisciplinary Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery team ensures a full range of surgical skills are available to every patient, sometimes during the same procedure. Difficult tumors can often be treated with a team approach, where one surgeon uses the endoscope to access and see the tumor, allowing removal by the neurosurgeon. Sometimes the location of a tumor or lesion may call for a combined endoscopic and open procedure. The skull base surgery team is highly experienced in determining the best surgical options for each patient, resulting in the safest, most effective operation.

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