Stenting of the frontal sinus outflow tract is occasionally used following surgery to prevent stenosis. The optimal length of stent retention has not been defined and some experts advocate up to 6 months prior to removal. The tolerance of even longer periods of stenting is unknown.
We identified adult patients in a tertiary rhinology practice with frontal sinus stents placed between July 2000 and December 2006 and in place at least 6 months. Length of stenting and condition at last follow-up were determined.
During the 6-year study period, 10 frontal sinus stents were placed out of over 450 endoscopic frontal sinus surgery procedures. Each patient had only one stent placed. Of these 10 patients, one was excluded because the stent was electively removed at eight weeks. None of the remaining nine has been lost to follow-up. The mean length of stenting was 32.6 months (median 17, range 11 to 73). One patient had the stent removed at 61 months because of infection. Another had the stent removed at 11 months because of pain and edema. The remaining seven patients remain asymptomatic with patent stents and no granulation tissue seen on nasal endoscopy.
In this group, long-term frontal stenting was rarely used but relatively well tolerated with only two of nine patients requiring removal up to 6 years after placement. With the optimal length for frontal stenting unknown, risks and benefits of removal at each evaluation point must be weighed. Laryngoscope, 119:190–192, 2009