The paranasal sinuses occupy a unique and complex anatomical location under the base of the skull and between the eyes. As a result, a precise knowledge of this anatomy is essential for performing safe and effective sinus surgery. Over the past decade, a technology has been developed called image guided surgical navigation, which is designed to assist sinus surgeons with knowing precisely where any given structure is within the nose and sinuses at any given point during surgery.
Image guided surgical navigation can be used for a variety of endoscopic sinus surgeries including primary or revision sinus surgery, removal of sinus tumors, endoscopic orbital surgery, and endoscopic skull base surgery. It is especially useful in cases where the normal sinonasal anatomy has been distorted either by the disease or prior surgery. This technology has been a tremendous advance in the field of endoscopic sinus surgery and has made certain surgical procedures more safe and complete. It is important to note that image guided surgical navigation is not required during all types of endoscopic sinus surgery, and that most routine sinus surgery can be performed safely without this technology.