Surgical revision of failed frontal sinus obliteration, traditionally, has been limited to repeat obliteration. However, endoscopic techniques may be successful in selected cases. We review our experience in surgical revision of failed frontal obliteration and propose a management algorithm.Retrospective chart review was performed over a 5-year period for patients who presented for surgical revision of a previously obliterated frontal sinus. Indications for surgery, radiological findings, and surgical approach were reviewed.Nineteen patients were identified, presenting an average of 9.7 years from the initial obliteration. Eighty-four percent (n = 16) were approached endoscopically and 16% (n = 3) were approached by revision obliteration. The mean follow-up was 25 months. In the endoscopic group, patients had either mucoceles in the inferomedial aspect of the frontal sinus or incomplete obliteration with persistent disease in the pneumatized frontal remnant. Eighty-one percent (13/16) were managed successfully with a single endoscopic procedure. Nineteen percent (3/16) had persistent disease requiring either a subsequent obliteration or Riedel ablation because of infected fat graft or frontal osteomyelitis. All patients who were managed successfully endoscopically remained free of disease with patent frontal sinusotomies throughout the follow-up period. The endoscopic failures required one to two additional external procedures to achieve disease resolution. In the revision obliteration group, all patients had mucoceles in either the lateral or the superior frontal sinus. All three patients had resolution of disease after a single procedure and remained free of disease throughout the follow-up period.Selected patients undergoing revision of frontal obliteration may benefit from endoscopic approaches. If disease is localized in the frontal recess or inferomedial frontal sinus, endoscopic management may be successful in the majority of patients. Superior or lateral frontal disease appears to be best approached externally. Patients undergoing endoscopic salvage should be counseled about the possible need for revision obliteration if disease persists.
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View details for PubMedID 16270593