What is a Maxillary Antrostomy?
Maxillary antrostomy is a surgical procedure to make or enlarge an opening in the maxillary sinus. The two maxillary sinuses are the large spaces in the skull at the top of each cheek near the nose. In some cases, they can become blocked due to infection or swollen tissue. If the infection does not respond to medications, a maxillary antrostomy may be performed to increase drainage and relieve pressure.
Although an antrostomy can be performed via an incision along the side of the nose, it is most often performed through the nostril using a tool called an endoscope. This thin, flexible tube contains a light and tiny tools and can reach the sinus through the nostril. Sometimes the endoscope is inserted through a small incision behind the upper lip. When the surgeon reaches the maxillary sinus, he or she enlarges the natural drainage opening using surgical tools or by inserting and inflating a tiny balloon. The surgeon will also remove any badly infected tissue or growths, such as polyps, that are blocking the sinus.
Antrostomy helps treat infections by allowing for proper drainage of the sinus. Increased drainage not only helps resolve current pain and pressure, but can prevent sinus problems in the future.