Osteoplastic frontal-sinus obliteration is a surgery that eliminates the frontal sinuses in order to prevent chronic infection, or in response to head trauma or cancer. Patients needing this surgery often have undergone other less-invasive procedures such as endoscopic sinus surgery.

Four sinus cavities on each side connect to the nasal passages, each producing mucous that drains into the nose. The frontal sinuses are two hollow spaces in the frontal bone – in the forehead region – that connect to the nasal passages. Sinus infections, a common ailment, typically are treated successfully with antibiotics and steroids. In cases in which infections do not respond to drugs, or those infections spread to the brain or eyes, a surgeon can widen the frontal sinus passages and remove infected tissue via endoscopic sinus surgery through the nostrils.

When an endoscopic procedure is insufficient, a last-resort therapy is osteoplastic frontal-sinus obliteration. This surgery also is appropriate in cases of cancer or severe trauma to the frontal sinus. The procedure lasts three to four hours, with patients under general anesthesia throughout the surgery.