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Am J Rhinol. 2005 Mar-Apr;19(2):203-6.

The incidence of complications after canine fossa puncture performed during endoscopic sinus surgery.

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Department of Surgery-Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Adelaide and Flinders Universities, South Australia, Australia.



Patients with extensive disease affecting the maxillary sinus may require a canine fossa approach for complete removal of disease. This study was designed to determine the complications associated with this procedure.


We performed a retrospective study of 21 patients who had undergone a canine fossa puncture at an academic hospital complex in Adelaide, Australia.


A total of 37 canine fossa punctures were made in 21 patients. Twenty-eight of the 37 (75.7%) sides in which a canine fossa puncture was performed experienced a complication. The most common complaint was of cheek swelling in 14 (38%) followed by facial pain in 12 (32%), facial numbness in 11 (30%), cheek pain in 10 (27%), dental numbness in 10 (27%), gingival complications in 9 (24%), and facial tingling in 6 (16%) of sides. Most complications (75.5%) resolved within the 1st month after surgery. Six patients (28.6%) had persistent complications with facial tingling in 3 patients (50%) followed by facial numbness and tingling in 1 patient (11%), facial numbness alone in 1 patient (8.3%), and facial pain in 1 patient (7.1%).


Canine fossa antrostomy is a technique that provides additional access to the maxillary sinus. Surgeons need to be aware that, although minor, a significant number of patients will experience both transient and long-term complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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