So says Dr. Jason Mudd, an ear,
nose and throat specialist who practices in the Albuquerque metro area and is
making use of technology — called image-guided sinus surgery — at Lovelace
Lovelace Westside Hospital has
featured the equipment for this surgery for a few months, said hospital
spokeswoman Laurie Volkin.
Patients from Rio Rancho and the
West Side can take advantage of Mudd’s expertise as he views a CAT scan and an
endoscope simultaneously to repair infected sinuses.
“I know exactly where I am in real
time in the surgery,” Mudd said. “I can use that CT scan to help guide me to
In addition, the surgical technique
helps reduce complications from sinus surgeries.
In most cases, sinus infections can
be treated with antibiotics, Mudd said. But if they become chronic, surgery may
be necessary, he said.
“For people who have really
extensive disease and for people who have (sinus) polyps,” surgery may be
appropriate, Mudd said.
During most sinus surgery, the
problem areas give doctors ample room to maneuver. Some sinuses, however, are
separated from vital organs, such as the brain, by a millimeter or less, Mudd
said, leaving little to no room for error.
And in fact, some sinus infections
spread to the eyes and can cause blindness, or to the brain, which may lead to
Studies show only one to three in
1,000 sinus surgeries end in complications, Mudd said.
Still, “Most people get sinus surgery because
they’re miserable,” Mudd said, not because their case could be fatal. “Imagine
a cold that goes on for six months.”