Bleeding during endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) can interrupt the flow of the procedure and increase the risk of complications. Advances in microdebrider design now allow for bleeding to be controlled by bipolar energy during the suctioning and shaving of polyps. We conducted a retrospective study to examine the effects of this technology on blood loss and operating times during ESS for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRS+P). Our patient population was made up of 80 patients who had undergone ESS for CRS+P by the same surgeon from January 2007 through May 2008. All surgeries were performed with either the PK diego bipolar microdebrider (Gyrus ACMI, ENT Division; Bartlett, Tenn.) or a standard microdebrider. There were 40 patients in each group. The PK group was made up of 23 males and 17 females, aged 14 to 66 years (mean: 43.1), and the control group included 21 males and 19 females, aged 17 to 71 years (mean: 43.1); there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups in terms of sex and age. In addition to demographic data, the charts were reviewed for comorbidities and operative variables; the latter included blood loss, operating room (OR) time, and complications. The preoperative treatment and anesthesia protocols were similar for all patients, and all patients demonstrated a similar disease burden on imaging (mean Harvard CT stage: 3.12 for the PK group and 3.15 for the controls; p > 0.05). We found that during ESS, the PK group experienced significantly less intraoperative blood loss than did the controls (means: 86.0 and 123.0 ml, respectively; p = 0.015). In addition, the PK device was associated with significantly shorter OR times (means: 88.9 and 101.4 min, respectively; p = 0.026). There were no complications in either group. We conclude that using a microdebrider with bipolar capabilities during ESS may offer the advantages of less blood loss and shorter operating times in patients with nasal polyps.
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