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About Rhinology and the Sinuses

The Division of Rhinology/Sinus Disease has existed as a clinical area of expertise within the Department of Otolaryngology at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai probably since the founding of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in 1820. The medical discipline of rhinology refers to the study and treatment of diseases of the nose and related structures.

In the nineteenth century, rhinology evolved from examination of nose and treatment of simple infections to the beginning of detailed anatomic studies of nasal and sinus anatomy and the early formulation of surgical principles for treatment of acute and chronic disease. Much of our early understanding of sinus pathology and sinus anatomy began with the work of the European anatomist, Emil Zuckerkandl.

In the twentieth century, American anatomist and surgeons began an intense century of studying the intricate anatomy of the nose and sinuses, and to apply their knowledge to surgical treatment. These efforts evolved into surgical approaches to the nose and sinuses through either the face or nose. The latter was practice by relatively few surgeons until the introduction of surgical endoscopes (endo=within + scope=to see) in the 1980's.

With the simultaneous introduction of computer tomographic imaging (CT scan) and optical instruments, the diagnosis and treatment of nasal and sinus diseases rapidly expanded. To better reflect these events, the Eye and Ear sought to further describe its nearly two centuries of care of nasal and sinus disease under the name of the Division of Rhinology/Sinus Disease. 

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