Background: In the last decade inverted papillomas of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses have been observed in increasing numbers, and treatment modalities have ranged from extensive open radical procedures to microinvasive endonasal surgical excision.
Objective: To establish criteria for selecting patients for open osteoplastic or endonasal surgery according to clearly defined pathological and clinical data.
Material and method: In a retrospective study, clinical data of 55 patients treated surgically in the University ENT Clinic Giessen from 1991 to 1998 were analysed. In 33 patients (60%) endonasal excision of the papillomas was carried out and in 22 (40%) osteoplastic lateral rhinotomy or maxillotomy were performed. All histological specimens were revised. Patients were followed up and endoscopically examined until 31 March 1999.
Results: In 22 patients, tumours involving the frontal sinus, maxillary sinus, parts of the frontal skull base and anterior ethmoid, and the orbit were operated on using open osteoplastic procedures, with 4 (18%) recurrences observed. Tumours excised endonasally showed the same recurrence rate: 6 out of 33 (18%). These tumours were smaller in size and localized in the nasal cavity, the middle and posterior parts of the ethmoid involving the sphenoid, and the medio-posterior wall of the maxillary sinus. The functional outcome was excellent for all patients; two patients developed a mucocele. Cancerization was observed in three cases.
Conclusions: In select cases the endonasal microsurgical approach to inverted papillomas has the same good results concerning function and tumour control as osteoplastic open rhinotomy. This method should still be preferred in tumours localized in the frontal sinus, anterior ethmoid. anterior. caudal and lateral parts of the maxillary sinus and beyond the sinuses.