As a maxiofacial surgeon, Dr. Fisher is an expert in performing the Caldwell-Luc procedure, also known as a radical antrum operation. This surgical procedure is indicated in chronic maxillary sinusitis, i.e. the obstruction and inflammation of the maxillary sinuses. It is sometimes performed to obtain tissue for biopsy of a tumor located in the area below the eyes.
The maxillary sinuses are hollow air spaces located on both sides of the nose, just beneath the cheeks. Maxillary sinusitis can be caused by allergies, nasal polyps or direct trauma to the face. Symptoms include fever, clogged nose, facial pain, runny rose and sometimes a toothache.
The Caldwell-Luc procedure is indicated after all conservative treatment options have been exhausted. A small incision is then made between the gum and the upper lip, and a small portion of the maxillary bone is usually removed. The sinus opening leading to the nose is often made larger. This usually results in improved drainage of natural secretions.
Some side effects may arise after the procedure. The most common is swelling of the face, which resolves after a few days. Other side effects are bruises on the neck, numbness of the upper lip and cheeks, pain while eating or chewing, facial pain and sometimes teeth discoloration. There are usually no visible scars after the operation, as the incision is made under the upper lip.