Surgeon to Perform Image-Guided Sinus Surgery In Live Internet Broadcast

April 5, 2005

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – For many patients with chronic inflammatory sinusitis, endoscopic sinus surgery has brought great relief, although the close proximity of major nerves, blood vessels and the brain means that surgeons must be especially cautious and conservative. Now, however, the latest generation of computer-assisted navigation has made the surgery safer and more effective.

In a live internet broadcast this week, a surgeon at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center will perform endoscopic sinus surgery using the sophisticated image-guidance technology. The technology uses computer imaging to guide the surgical instruments around the eye, optic nerve, internal carotid artery, and the skull base – any of which can be a scant millimeter away.

Brian L. Matthews, M.D., associate professor of surgery-otolaryngology at Wake Forest Baptist, will perform the procedure, known as functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), in a live internet broadcast at noon on Friday, April 8. Matthews has been performing the image-guided procedures for more than six years.

FESS is used to clear polyps from the sinuses, and the surgery is followed by systemic steroid therapies.

Candidates for surgery typically have inflammation in their sinuses that is visible on a CT scan. They have serious symptoms from this inflammation, such as facial pain and pressure, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, post-nasal drainage, cough, ear pressure and fatigue. And their inflammation does not clear up with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antihistamines, or steroid nasal spray.

Matthews said patients generally experience minimal discomfort following the surgery, which is performed under general anesthetic. For patients with chronic inflammation of the sinuses, “Surgery in combination with appropriate medical treatment to control this inflammatory reaction is usually beneficial,” Matthews said.

The webcast is available for viewing by the general public as well as medical professionals. Free continuing medical education credit (CME) is offered. Following the live webcast, the program will be archived for viewing at any time. To view Wake Forest Baptist webcasts go to


Media Contacts: Mark Wright,, (336) 716-3382; Jonnie Rohrer,, (336) 716-6972; or Lisa Long,, (336) 716-4588.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. It is licensed to operate 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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