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A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery

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Otorinolaringologia 2006 September;56(3):127-35

language: Italian

The role of telescope in the evolution of the surgical management of the main paranasal sinus and skull base pathologies: historical outline, current and future trends

Pasquini E., Macrì G., Farneti P., Tenti G., Sciarretta V.

Unità di Otorinolaringoiatria Azienda Ospedaliera Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Università degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna


Surgery of sinonasal tract has been considered “the cinderella” of head and neck surgery, because of the surgical improvement and morbidity were not followed by adequate clinical outcomes. Up few years ago, the poor knowledge of nasal physiopathology, medical treatment and lack of instruments for adequate endonasal visualization have favoured the management of sinonasal pathology through external approaches but with a higher morbidity and low cosmetic results. The improvement of both optic instruments by Harold Hopkins in 1959, and transmission of the light by Karl Strorz in 1960, with the adjunct of the new studies of nasal physiopathology by Messerklinger, have successfully contributed to revolutionize the diagnostic and therapeutic management of nasal pathology. Moreover, thanks to technological improvement of instruments, improvement of radiological assessment and collaboration with other disciplines such as radiology, ophthalmology and neurosurgery have contributed to treat complex diseases such as the choanal atresia, mucoceles, tumors of sinonasal tract, sellar and parasellar tumors, meningoencephaloceles and Graves, ophthalmopathy. With the help of historical hints, the aim of this manuscript is to describe the evolution of the telescope from the “interesting toy” of the past to the indispensable tool in the treatment of both paranasal sinus and skull base pathology for today head and neck surgeon.

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