Background: The external approach is the golden standard for sinonasal tumor removal but it is associated with several side effects, including facial scars, intracranial and extracranial complications, a long hospitalization period and high costs. Endoscopic sinus surgery enables resection of benign and selected malignant sinonasal tumors and has the advantages of no facial scars, better functional and structural preservation of the sinonasal complex, minimal trauma to surrounding tissue, a shorter hospitalization stay and lower costs.
Objectives: To evaluate the advantages and limitations of endoscopic resection of benign and malignant sinonasal tumors, their recurrence and complication rates.
Methods: The medical and radiology records of 56 patients who underwent endonasal endoscopic resection of benign and malignant sinonasal tumors between 1996 and 2003 were retrospectively reviewed. Tumors located in the center of the nose and sinuses were endoscopically resected.
Results: Six cases of malignant tumor and 50 cases of benign tumor underwent resection by ESS. One of the patients with malignant tumor died, the remainder showing no evidence of disease on follow-up of 3–60 months (mean 26.8 months). Inverted papilloma was the most common benign tumor (40 patients). Seven patients (18%) had recurrence followed by endonasal resection. No major complications were recorded. Hospitalization stay was 2–7 days (mean 3.6 days).
Conclusions: Endoscopic resection of benign sinonasal tumors that are centrally located in the nose and sinuses should be considered before the external approach is used. In very carefully selected cases of malignant tumors ESS is oncologically acceptable, but more experience is needed for discerning the indications for endoscopic resection of malignant tumors. The complication rate for endoscopic resection is low, there are no facial scars, hospitalization stay is short, and costs are low.