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Sinus Tumors


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Tumors are abnormal growths of tissue. Tumors found within the nose and sinuses can cause blockages, leading to:

  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nasal bleeding
  • Numbness of the face
  • Repeated sinus infections
  • Visual changes

Tumors can be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). How these tumors are treated depends upon what specific type of tumor it is.

Benign sinus tumors
Benign (noncancerous) tumors are typically not life threatening; however, they can cause blocked sinuses as well as affect the vision if they are large enough and extend into the orbit (neighboring eye socket). They can also extend into the brain cavity through the skull base bone.

Examples of benign tumors include: osteoma, inverted papilloma, neuroma, schwannoma, juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma, hemangioma, fibrous dysplasia, hamartoma, and adenoma.

Malignant sinus tumors
Sinus tumors that are malignant (cancerous) can cause the symptoms listed above. Cancerous tumors are more likely to spread to the lymph nodes of the neck, lung, or brain. Unlike benign tumors, cancerous tumors need to be treated more aggressively and quickly. Typically, these tumors require surgery, as well as radiation or chemotherapy. The treatment you will need depends on the particular tumor, its size, and location. Our team will personalize a treatment plan to your condition and needs.


Images obtained from computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help your doctor see details of your sinuses and nasal passages, in areas not seen by the nasal endoscopy on routine follow-up exam in the office. The CT and MRI scans help us understand how big the tumor is, its exact location within the nose and sinuses, and the type of tumor it may be. We also use imaging to check for any recurrent tumor if you have already been treated.

Nasal endoscopy
Your ENT doctor will insert a thin, flexible or rigid endoscope with a tiny camera attached to a specialized high definition monitor to view the inside of the nose. This procedures helps your specialist determine the complexity of the tumor, as well as allows for sampling of the tumor for a biopsy and identification by our superb group of subspecialty trained head and neck pathologists.

A pathologist will typically have to look under a microscope at a sample of the tumor to tell what type of tumor it is. This is important since tumors are treated in many different ways. Our pathologists subspecialize by the types of tumors. We have some of the best head and neck tumor pathologists in the country. They are a critical part of our team.


Your ENT specialist may recommend endoscopic surgery to remove the sinus tumor. During this procedure, your surgeon will insert a thin, flexible or rigid endoscope with a tiny camera attached to a specialized high definition monitor to view the surgery.

Your surgeon will use various instruments to safely and completely remove the tumor through the nose without needing to make incisions on your face. The surgeon may use computer navigation during surgery to assist in the complete removal of the tumor, while avoiding any damage to any normal neurovascular structure.

Radiation or chemotherapy
Your ENT specialist may recommend you undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy depending on the type of malignant tumor. Many tumors require complete surgical removal plus radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy to give you the very best chance of long-term survival, free of any recurrent tumor.

Ongoing visits
Your ENT surgeon will request that you return for periodic follow-up visits, in which he or she will perform nasal endoscopic exams to make sure you continue to be free of tumor. You may also need to have additional computerized tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to determine if the tumor has come back (recurred).

Why Choose UHealth?

Ranked in the nation’s top tier by U.S. News & World Report. The ranking reflects the team’s dedication to excellence in research patient care and outcomes. Surgeons, audiologists, biomedical engineers, speech pathologists, researchers, and psychologists collaborate with many research programs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to deliver the best possible multidisciplinary care to pediatric and adult ear, nose, and throat patients.

Highly specialized rhinology doctors. The experts at University of Miami Health System are here to help you breathe easier, smell better, and rest better with an accurate diagnosis and leading edge treatments, in a compassionate setting. Our fellowship-trained providers specialize in the nasal airway, and our rhinology specialists have completed specialized training in nasal and sinus disorders. They have dedicated their clinical and research careers to caring for nasal and sinus disorders.

Academic health center provides you with more treatment options. Our ENT specialists are experts in the field of rhinology. As part of an academic health center, we are proud to offer breakthrough treatments not available to other facilities in South Florida. We also offer our patients early access to clinical trials and new medical and procedural treatments. We provide comprehensive care for a wide array of rhinologic conditions, backed by expertise, research, and education.

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