Sinus and skull base tumors can be either benign or malignant and by definition either originate from one of the sinuses or extend from the brain into the sinuses. If they extend from the sinus into the brain or the orbit, they are also considered skull base tumors. There are many different types of benign and malignant tumors and the specific type of tumor will dictate the appropriate treatment protocol. Usually, a small biopsy is required to make the specific diagnosis that will then lead to the master treatment plan. In general, benign tumors are usually easily surgically resected. Malignant tumors, in many cases, are treatable with radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, or some combination of these therapeutic modalities. Sinus and skull base tumors are very serious because if malignant they can ultimately lead to death if untreated. Even benign tumors can grow to sizes where the eye and brain can be invaded leading to irreversible vision loss or neurologic impairment. For such serious problems you need to see a nose and sinus specialist at Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus. Dr. Kuperan is one of the few fellowship certified Rhinologists in all of Texas with specialized expertise, experience, and skills in treating patients with all types of sinus and skull base tumors.
UNDERSTANDING SINUS AND SKULL BASE TUMORS
If a sinus or skull base tumor is suspected it is important to first obtain a biopsy and confirm if it is benign or malignant. It is impossible to determine if a tumor is benign or malignant just by looking at it or with radiologic imaging. Some malignant tumors can grow rapidly and spread to other parts of the body if not managed aggressively. Since there are so many different types of sinus and skull base tumors a biopsy is critical to determine its specific subtype. Some sinus and skull base tumors originate from exposure to inhaled environmental toxins while others arise spontaneously or with some inherited genetic predisposition. Concerning symptoms associated with sinus and skull base tumors include:
Recent new onset bleeding from one side of the nose
Recent new onset nasal obstruction on one side of the nose
Recent or new onset loss of smell
New onset facial pressure or headaches on one side of the face
Double vision or bulging/swelling of one of the eyes
TREATING SINUS AND SKULL BASE TUMORS
If you have signs or symptoms of a sinus or skull base tumor it is critical to consult a Rhinologist immediately for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. The initial evaluation will consist of a nasal endoscopy (looking inside the nose with a small camera) to determine if a sinus or skull base tumor is present. If a tumor is noted, a CT scan and MRI of the sinuses and skull base will be performed to assess the extent, invasiveness, proximity to critical neurovascular structures, and vascularity of the neoplasm. Next, a small biopsy can be performed in the office if the tumor is not particularly vascular to determine the specific subtype. Depending on the specific tumor subtype, and if it is malignant or benign, a treatment plan is created. If the tumor is appropriate for surgical resection a minimally invasive endoscopic approach through the nostril openings is performed. The principles used for minimally invasive endoscopic sinus surgery are applied to sinus tumor resection with a critical emphasis on negative tumor margins while preserving important adjacent neurovascular structures. If the tumor is extending from the sinus into the skull base or from the skull base into the sinus, an endoscopic anterior skull base resection may be indicated. These approaches are both done through the nose without any visible scars or incisions. There are very few Rhinologists in the world trained to perform this complex operation. For certain malignant sinus tumors, postoperative radiation treatment may be required to ensure negative margins. The key is choosing an approach tailored to the severity and specific type of sinus tumor you have. There is not one single solution that is correct for every patient, and that’s why Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus is unique. We don’t promote a “cookie-cutter” approach to treatment like some other practices. Dr. Kuperan’s super specialized expertise and experience as a Rhinologist will make sure you get the best treatment to quickly and safely remove your sinus or skull base tumor.
CONTACT A NOSE AND SINUS EXPERT FOR YOUR EVALUATION, TODAY
At Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus we attend to patients with sinus and skull base tumors and prescribe the right course of treatment for the problem. We have unique comprehensive efficient treatment plans for every patient including state-of-the-art in-office radiologic imaging, cutting-edge technology for painless in-office nose and sinus procedures with sedation, and first-class post procedure recovery suites that are unique nationally. All delivered to you by an advanced nose and sinus specialist who cares deeply about safely and quickly removing your sinus or skull base tumor so you can get back to your life. If you wish to learn more about sinus or skull base tumor treatments or schedule an appointment, call (713) 791-0700 or email us.