Sinus Center Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Acid Reflux (see PH Studies)

Aesthetic Nasal Problems (nasal appearance problems)
Your nose is your most dominant facial feature. Its size and shape can greatly affect not only how you see yourself, but also how others might see you. Correctible aesthetic nasal problems include congenital cleft lip or palate, nasal deformity (i.e., too large, too wide, or too crooked), ethnic or genetic characteristics, traumatic deformities, nasal fractures, burns and other problems.

allergy

Allergy

An allergy is a reaction of the lining of the nose and sinuses after coming in contact with a foreign substance (allergen), such as tree pollen or dust mites.
Allergy Desensitization
Allergic Rhinitis (Allergies)
Allergy Testing

Allergic Rhinitis (Allergies)
An allergy is a reaction of the lining of the nose and sinuses after coming in contact with a foreign substance (allergen), such as tree pollen or dust mites. Common symptoms include itchy, runny nose, sneezing, nasal and head congestion. Other possible symptoms include fatigue and lethargy, itchy throat, and postnasal drainage.

Aesthetic Rhinoplasty (cosmetic nasal surgery)
The Center offers a variety of outpatient surgical procedures that address either functional or aesthetic issues. One of the most popular of all plastic surgery procedures is aesthetic rhinoplasty or nasal surgery. Many patients feel that their nose dominates their appearance in an unflattering manner. The purpose of this procedure is to improve one's nasal appearance by creating a nose that not only looks completely natural, but also complements the existing beauty of your face. Aesthetic rhinoplasty can reduce a nose that is too large, narrow one that is too wide, or widen one that is too narrow. It can straighten a crooked nose, eliminate unsightly humps, shape the tip, and even improve the angle between the nose and upper lip.

Allergy Testing
Diagnosing specific allergies involves testing, normally a skin prick test. In these tests, tiny amounts of suspected allergens are placed under your skin. If the skin site reacts, it is possible that you are allergic to that particular substance. In some cases, blood tests may also be done to look for antibodies to suspected allergens to confirm the diagnosis. For more information on Allergy Testing, click here.

Allergy Desensitization (Allergy shots or drops)
Minimizing exposure to allergens such as pollen or dust mites is an important way of controlling nasal allergies. In addition to that, your sinus specialist may also prescribe medications, including antihistamines, decongestants and corticosteroids to control nasal symptoms. If these medications do not relieve your symptoms, your physician may recommend allergy shots or drops under the tongue. Over time, allergy shots/drops (immunotherapy) can make your body less sensitive to allergens. They contain tiny amounts of the substances to which you’re allergic. In the beginning, allergy injections are usually given once a week. That interval will ultimately widen to once a month. It is important to remain on a regular schedule to gain the maximum benefit from injections and minimize chances of an adverse reaction. The length of time a patient is on injections varies from three to five years.

Anosmia (loss of sense of smell)
The loss of smell can be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. Temporary anosmia is common with colds, sinus infections (sinusitis), nasal allergies, enlarged adenoids, nasal polyps, tobacco smoke and prescription medication. Permanent causes of anosmia include the death of olfactory receptor neurons in the nose, brain injury or genetics.

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B

Balloon Sinuplasty™
Sinuplasty uses a thin balloon similar to an angioplasty balloon to open the sinus passages and provide easier breathing. The technology uses small, soft, flexible devices that enter entirely through the nostrils. As in heart vessels, a balloon is placed into position and inflated, then deflated and removed. This results in permanent widening of the critical areas leading into the sinuses while leaving the nose lining unharmed. This is a less invasive technique than functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), which cuts away sinus tissue.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (see Skin Cancer)

Broken Nose (see Nasal Fracture)

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C

Cerebrospinal fluid leaks
Cerebrospinal fluid functions like a liquid shock absorber to protect the brain and spinal cord. Most often caused by blunt trauma or tear, a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak may emanate from the nose, the external auditory canal (ear canal), or from a traumatic or operative defect in the skull or spine.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Repairs (see Endoscopic Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Repairs)

Correction of Nasal Valve Dysfunction
Effective treatment of the nasal airway can have a major effect on overall airway obstruction. The most common causes of nasal airway obstruction are previous rhinoplasty (nasal surgery) and nasal trauma. Frequently, surgical treatment is used to effectively treat a narrow nasal valve and restore normal breathing.

Cosmetic Surgery (see Aesthetic Rhinoplasty)

Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a hereditary, life-threatening disorder that can lead to respiratory failure, nutritional deficiencies and problems with sexual reproduction. CF affects cells that produce mucus, sweat, saliva and digestive juices, causing them to produce thick, sticky secretions that interfere with bodily functions, especially those of sinuses & lungs. There is no cure for CF.

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D

Desensitization (see Allergy Desensitization)

Deviated septum
A deviated septum is a dislocation of the nasal septum of the nose (the cartilaginous & bony wall that separates your two nasal passages). It is a common physical disorder and can result from injury to the face or a congenital defect. A deviated septum can cause obstruction of the nasal passage And can contribute to snoring and sleep apnea.

Deviated Nasal Septum Repair
A deviated septum is a dislocation of the nasal septum of the nose (the cartilaginous & bony wall that separates your two nasal passages). It is a common physical disorder and can result from injury to the face or a congenital defect. Surgery to straighten the septum is called septoplasty and is often done along with other surgical procedures to treat other nasal-related problems, such as sinusitis or sleep apnea

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E

Endoscopic Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Repairs
Cerebrospinal fluid functions like a liquid shock absorber to protect the brain and spinal cord. Most often caused by blunt trauma or tear, a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak may emanate from the nose, the external auditory canal, or from a traumatic or operative defect in the skull or spine.

Endoscopic Orbital (eye) Surgery
In orbital surgery, the endoscopic approach is less invasive while providing greater surgical exposure and enhanced illumination. It is used for dacryocystorhinostomy (tear duct surgery) and for orbital decompression surgery, a procedure for patients with visual loss due to Grave’s disease.

Endoscopic Pituitary Surgery
Traditional dissection techniques and surgical removal of pituitary tumors can be very invasive, especially if the tumor has moved laterally into the sinuses. With endoscopic surgery, the surgeon can remove the tumor under direct visualization—greatly minimizing patient discomfort.

Endoscopic Resection of Nasal, Sinus, and Skull-Base Tumors
Head and neck tumors include tumors that start in the lining of the nasal cavity and the throat. Skull base tumors include those tumors that grow along various regions of the lower portion of the skull. Endoscopic surgery is used to remove all or part of the affected tissue or structure.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
An endoscope is a thin, lighted tube used to explore your sinuses to identify the source of your nasal obstruction and remove it. Endoscopy is also used to enlarge a narrow sinus opening to promote drainage.

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I

Image-Guided Sinus Surgery (computer navigation)
Computer mapping and guidance allows the surgeon to open the nasal passageways using  less-invasive endoscopic surgical procedures. This results in less scarring, which, in turn, means less chance of nasal passageways reclogging.

Inferior Turbinate Reduction (for nasal obstruction)
An enlarged inferior turbinate in your nasal passage can cause chronic nasal congestion and blockage, leading to breathing problems. If caused by allergies, treating the underlying problem may reduce turbinate swelling. If not, enlarged turbinates can be reduced surgically.

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M

Melanoma (see Skin Cancer)

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N

Nasal breathing problemsnasal breathing problems, sinus problems

Deviated Septum
Nasal Fracture
Sinusitis
Turbinate Hypertrophy

Nasal and skull base tumors
Head and neck tumors include tumors that start in the lining of the nasal cavity and the throat. Skull base tumors include those tumors that grow along various regions of the lower portion of the skull.

Nasal Cautery (for nosebleeds)
Nasal cautery is available for those who suffer from frequent nosebleeds. It involves cauterizing (burning with electric current, silver nitrate or a laser) the blood vessel that's causing your problem.

Nasal Endoscopy
An endoscope is a thin, lighted tube used to explore your sinuses to identify the source of your nasal obstruction and possibly remove it. Endoscopy can also be used to enlarge a narrow sinus opening to promote drainage. Endoscopes are used in the office and in the operating room for procedures on the nose and sinuses.

Nasal fracture (broken nose)
A broken nose is a break or crack in one or more bones in your nose — usually the bone over the bridge of your nose. A broken nose is a common injury, accounting for about 40 percent of all facial fractures. Common symptoms of a broken nose include deformity, pain, swelling and bruising around the nose and under the eyes, tenderness, hemorrhage, and nasal congestion. You may also find it difficult to breathe.

Nasal Polyp Removal
Nasal polyps are soft, noncancerous (benign) growths that develop on the lining of your nose or sinuses. They can affect your breathing, diminish your sense of smell, and can be a cause of snoring. Depending on their size, nasal polyps may be treated with medications or removed surgically.

Nasal Obstruction (see Inferior Turbinate Reduction)

Nasal Reconstruction (functional nasal airway surgery)
Reconstructive plastic surgery corrects physical abnormalities caused by trauma, infection, developmental dysfunction, congenital anomalies, disease and aging. While the primary goal is to improve airway function, reconstructive surgery can also have psychological benefits for the patient by restoring a more natural appearance, thereby improving self-esteem.

Nasal Skin Resurfacing (for acne scars, rhinophyma)
Nasal skin resurfacing is a laser procedure that removes (vaporizes) the upper layers of skin—tightening and stimulating new skin growth. It is used to remove or improve the appearance of wrinkles and shallow scars (such as acne scars). Resurfacing is a delicate procedure and does not cause bleeding.

Nasal Septal Perforation Repair
The cartilage and thin bone that separate the two nasal passageways can develop a hole or perforation in the cartilage for a variety of reasons—trauma, complications of previous nasal surgery, excessive inhalant use, or disease to name a few. The hole can be repaired through a surgical procedure called nasal septal perforation repair.

Nasal Valve Dysfunction (see Correction of Nasal Valve Dysfunction)

Nosebleeds (see Nasal Cautery)

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O

Open (Standard) Surgery for Sinus and Skull-Base Tumors
The area in which these tumors grow contains a dense network of blood vessels, nerves and other important structures Depending on the type of tumor and its anatomic location, your surgeon might decide that open surgery would be the best approach.

Orbital (eye) Surgery (see Endoscopic Orbital Surgery)

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P

PH Studies (testing for acid reflux)
In adults and children, irritating acidic juices may back up from the stomach into the esophagus and throat, causing gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. This may occur at any time either day or night. A common anatomic condition known as a hiatal hernia predisposes people to acid reflux. The most commonly recognized symptom of acid reflux is "heartburn" due to irritation of the lining of the esophagus. Acid reflux can also cause problems in the larynx (voice box) or the pharynx (back of throat). This can happen to someone even if he or she is not aware of any heartburn. This is known as silent reflux, atypical reflux, or laryngopharyngeal reflux. In some situations, your physician may order a test called Ambulatory 24-hour pH Monitoring. This test uses a small probe that is inserted through your nostril and positioned near the lower esophagus to monitor the amount of acid produced.

Pituitary Surgery (see Endoscopic Pituitary Surgery)

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R

Resection of Nasal, Sinus, and Skull-Base Tumors (see Endoscopic Resection of Nasal, Sinus, and Skull-Base Tumors)

Revision Sinus Surgery (for patients with previous surgery)
Revision sinus surgeries (including revision endoscopic sinus surgery) are medically advanced surgical procedures used for patients who have previously undergone one or more sinus surgeries, or have experienced complications from a previous surgery.

Rhinoplasty (see Aesthetic Rhinoplasty)

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S

Sinusitis
Sinusitis is an infection of the sinus cavities adjacent to the nose, often occurring after a cold or allergic inflammation. Symptoms include swelling of the nasal passages, nasal congestion, facial pain and discomfort (amplified when bending forward), headache, pain around the eyes, and green or yellow discharge.

Sinus Surgerysinus surgery

Balloon Sinuplasty
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Image-Guided Sinus Surgery
Open (Standard) Surgery for Sinus and Skull-Base Tumors
Revision Sinus Surgery

Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is a malignant or abnormal growth of skin cells. There are three common types: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Long-term exposure to UV light (the sun) is the leading cause of all three types. Basal cell carcinoma is the most prevalent form of skin cancer. It appears as a dark brown or black nodule, growing within the skin and below it, rather than on the surface. Squamous cell carcinoma can occur in many different organs. When present on the skin, squamous cell carcinoma is characterized by red, scaly skin that becomes an open sore. Melanoma is generally a more aggressive cancer than basal cell or squamous cell. While it is rarer than the other types of tumors are, it’s responsible for the majority of skin cancer related deaths. A melanoma may appear lumpy or rounded, change color, become crusty, ooze, or bleed. Melanoma often occurs on the upper back of men and women and on the legs in women, but may occur on any skin surface or even inside the nose or mouth.

Skin Cancer Reconstruction
Skin cancer reconstruction corrects the deformity left by skin cancer removal. Skin cancer removal may be performed either by a surgeon from the Emory Nasal Center, or when clinically appropriate, by a Moh's surgeon, a specially trained dermatologist whose expertise is in skin cancer.

Skin Resurfacing (see Nasal Skin Resurfacing)

Snoring Reduction Procedures
Simple snoring or primary snoring is caused by light blockage of the airway during sleep, disrupting the flow of air from the mouth or nose to the lungs. This causes the tissues of the airway to vibrate and knock against the back of the throat, resulting in a noise that can be loud, harsh, and raspy. Pillar implants are a new in-office treatment for snoring. This procedure involves implanting three tiny polyester inserts into the patient's soft palate. The inserts act like pillars to add structural support to the soft palate, thus preventing the palate from drooping and vibrating during sleep. Somnoplasty is another new surgical treatment to reduce snoring. It's a minimally invasive procedure that uses radio waves to shrink the tissues of the soft palate.

Squamous cell carcinoma (see Skin Cancer)

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T

Tear duct obstruction (Blocked tear duct)
Tear ducts are small tubes that stretch from the eye into the nose. When the opening of the duct is blocked, the tear duct sac fills with fluid. This causes excess watering of the eye. In addition, the eye may become swollen, inflamed or even infected. This problem affects babies more than adults.

Tumors (see Nasal and skull base tumors)

Turbinate Hypertrophy
The turbinates are found on the internal sidewalls of the nose. Their function is to help warm and humidify air entering the nose. However, in some people, the turbinate bones are enlarged (hypertrophic) or swollen, thereby blocking the airflow into the nose and making it difficult to breathe. Enlarged turbinates can also cause facial headaches.

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