The effects of functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) on sinus and midfacial development remain unclear. The authors report five children who, at a median age of 30 months, underwent FESS for refractory sinusitis. Three of the children had cystic fibrosis, and two had asthma. Preoperative computed tomographic (CT) scanning showed symmetric maxillary sinus development with varying degrees of mucosal disease. At a mean of 42 months after surgery, CT scans were obtained to evaluate recurrent symptoms in the five children. The scans showed unilateral maxillary hypoplasia in four children and bilateral maxillary sinus hypoplasia in one child. No child had clinically apparent facial asymmetry or midfacial hypoplasia. The authors also discuss the factors involved in maxillary sinus pneumatization, the possible effects of sinus surgery on sinus development, and the clinical implications of 'acquired' maxillary sinus hypoplasia.
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