Thin rubber sheeting in frontal sinus surgery: animal and clinical studies

H B Neel, J H Whicker, C F Lake
Laryngoscope 1976, 86 (4): 524-36
Closure of the nasofrontal communication is the most common cause of failure of nonobliterative external of nonobliterative external frontal sinus operations for chronic sinus disease. To determine whether silicone rubber sheeting or tubing might prevent closure, we designed animal experiments and conducted a clinical study. We enlarged the nasofrontal duct in dogs, inserted silicone rubber tubing or sheeting and assessed ductal patency grossly and microscopically. The tubes prevented epithelization and failed to prevent local osteoblastic reaction, fibroplasia, and scar formation. In contrast, sheeting permitted rapid mucosal regeneration, less osteoblastic activity, and less fibrosis. Our 16 patients with chronic sinus disease underwent a modified Lynch operation, with enlargement of the nasofrontal duct and stenting with rubber tubes or sheeting. The sheeting provided the best long-term result. In our experience, it raised the success rate of the classic Lynch external operation.

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