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Laryngoscope. 1988 Dec;98(12):1297-300.

The Caldwell-Luc procedure: institutional review of 670 cases: 1975-1985.

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Department of Otolaryngology, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary-New York Medical College 10003.


The Caldwell-Luc procedure, which has long been fundamental in the treatment of perisinus disease, has undergone increasing scrutiny when used for inflammatory antritis. Individual morbidity rates of less than 10% to greater than 40% have been reported. To assess the data from our own institution, a retrospective study of 670 Caldwell-Luc procedures was undertaken. Patients ranged in age from 10 to 82, with a mean age of 42.9 years. There were 271 males and 325 females. Parameters studied included symptoms, physical findings, operative techniques, surgical findings, length of hospitalization, and postoperative complications. Immediate postoperative complications included facial swelling in 89% of patients, cheek discomfort in 33%, significant hemorrhage in 2.9%, and temperature elevation in 12.1%. Long-term follow-up ranged from 2 years to 10 years. Overall complication rates in 464 patients included facial asymmetry (3), facial numbness or paresthesia (42), oroantral fistulas (5), gingivolabial wound dehiscences (7), dacryocystitis (12), devitalized tooth (2), recurrent sinusitis (56), and recurrent polyposis (25). A revision antrostomy was required in 37 patients, a revision Caldwell-Luc in 22 patients, an intranasal sphenoethmoidectomy in 17, and root canal therapy in 2 patients. The most frequent complication was recurrent nasal obstruction, occurring in 28% of patients. Overall complication rates tended to increase with a longer follow-up period.

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