Long-term follow-up of aviators after functional endoscopic sinus surgery for sinus barotrauma

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1997 Nov;68(11):1029-34.


Prior to endonasal endoscopic advances for the treatment of sinus disease, surgical results for aviators with recurrent sinus barotrauma (RSB) were inconsistent. Between 1988 and 1992, 54 aviators, who were permanently or temporarily grounded, underwent functional endoscopic sinus (FES) surgery in an attempt to return them to active flying status. Follow-up in the immediate postoperative period revealed that 98% of these aviators returned to active flight duty. A questionnaire was mailed to each of these aviators to compare their preoperative and long-term postoperative symptoms and determine their current flying status. Long-term follow-up time ranged from 20 to 72 mo with average of 48 mo. Of the aviators who responded to the survey, 92% have continued their flying duties and do not report difficulties with RSB. We conclude that FES surgery is effective in the short- and long-term management RSB in aviators.

MeSH terms

  • Aerospace Medicine*
  • Barotrauma / classification
  • Barotrauma / etiology
  • Barotrauma / physiopathology
  • Barotrauma / surgery*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel*
  • Paranasal Sinuses / injuries*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome