Lahey Hospital & Medical Center offers a comprehensive program of care for diseases and conditions of the nose and sinuses. These include functional problems such as the common forms of rhinitis (inflammation of the mucus membranes of the nose), acute or chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), sinus headaches and fungal-related sinus disease, as well as nasal obstruction from deviated septums, nasal tumors and nasal polyps.

Minimally Invasive Sinus Technique (MIST)

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center’s Department of Otolaryngology is a nationally and internationally recognized pioneer in minimally invasive sinus surgery (formally known as minimally invasive sinus technique, or MIST).

Most patients with sinus problems can be treated with antihistamines, nasal sprays, antibiotics or, in some cases, steroids, but for patients with chronic or recurrent sinusitis, surgery may be necessary to provide relief. MIST technologies are extremely patient-friendly, avoid external incisions and can often be done in 45 to 50 minutes, with no bandages or packing in the nose. There is no external evidence that surgery was performed.

Our comprehensive program includes state-of-the-art imaging options, including intra-operative surgical navigation technology, which enables our specialists to diagnose and surgically treat conditions with the utmost accuracy. MIST technology can also be applied to neoplasms of the nasal and sinus areas, such as pituitary tumors, angiofibromas, inverted papillomas, hemangiomas and even certain cancers. When necessary, these procedures are performed in collaboration with neurosurgeons.

MIST aims to uncover the entrances to the sinuses, where blockages typically cause problems, rather than invading and opening the sinuses themselves. Using a state-of-the-art viewing tool called an endoscope and a precise, powerful surgical instrument called a microdebrider, the surgeon is able to enter through the nostrils and carefully and efficiently remove the offending tissue, leaving behind no swelling, bruising, black eyes or a nose packed with gauze. Patients are usually awake and alert within 15 minutes after the anesthesia is turned off and able to resume normal activities within a day or two. (There are typically a few short-term aftereffects such as a feeling of congestion in the nose and some blood when blowing the nose, but these are temporary.)

Lahey surgeons are currently treating 400 to 500 patients each year using the MIST approach. Where necessary, we also provide allergy, asthma or pulmonary consultations, drawing on experts from these Lahey Hospital & Medical Center teams.