Carolyn's window approach to unilateral frontal sinus surgery

Kachorn Seresirikachorn*, Andrea Sit, Lu Hui Png, Larry Kalish, Raewyn G. Campbell, Raquel Alvarado, Richard J. Harvey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Due to the complexity and variety of the frontal recess and sinus anatomy, traditional Draf 2a frontal sinus surgery is challenging. The thickness of the nasofrontal beak and anterior–posterior dimensions of the frontal recess contribute to this complexity. Carolyn's window technique eliminates the limitation of anterior–posterior depth to facilitate a Draf 2a frontal sinusotomy. The approach is a 0° endoscope technique and provides an excellent view of the frontal sinus and recess. We describe Carolyn's window approach to frontal sinus surgery and the perioperative outcomes. Methods: Consecutive adult patients in whom Carolyn's window technique was applied for frontal sinus dissection as part of the endoscopic management of both inflammatory and neoplastic disease were assessed. The primary outcome was frontal sinus patency. Secondary outcomes were surgical morbidity, defined as early (<90 days) or late (>90 days). Results: Forty-five patients (49.1 ± 17.9 years, 48.9% Female) were assessed. All patients had successful frontal sinus patency (100% [95CI: 92.1%–100%]). Morbidities were adhesion (4.8%), crusting (2.4%), pain (1.2%), and bleeding (1.2%) in the early postoperative period. There were no other morbidities in the early and late postoperative periods. Conclusion: Carolyn's window approach to frontal sinusotomy is a technique that evolves from previously described approaches. Successful frontal sinus patency with very low morbidities is achieved while still working with a 0° endoscope. The “axillectomy” performed simplifies frontal recess surgery by removing the anteroposterior diameter limitation and the dexterity required in angled endoscopy and instrumentation. The inferior-based lateral wall mucosal flap and free mucosal grafting expedite the mucosal healing process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2496-2501
Number of pages6
Issue number10
Early online date18 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • endoscopic endonasal surgery
  • frontal sinus
  • frontal sinusitis
  • paranasal sinus diseases
  • sinusitis


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