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Authors > Alexander G. Chiu, MD

“We hope that readers of this book will be able to learn, step-by-step, all the moves of a surgical procedure from pre-operative preparation to post-operative care.” – Dr. Alexander Chiu

What’s New in the Field of Otolaryngology

Otolaryngology is very technology-heavy. We operate on and treat disease in very small anatomical locations and in hard-to-reach spots. As technologies, cameras, and optics have improved, our ability to treat these disease processes in very tight spaces has also improved. In the beginning of sinus surgery surgeons often performed sinus surgery by sticking an instrument into the nose, grabbing and pulling tissue and hoping they wouldn’t cause a complication with the eye or the brain. Obviously, we’re a lot more refined now. We can safely use an endoscope perform our surgeries without major complications and can even use that same technology to perform minimally invasive surgery on the orbits and brain through the nostrils.

When we do a procedure that does require going into the orbit in the brain, instead of making large craniotomy or facial incisions, we can go through the nose and spare the patient the morbidity of a craniotomy. That’s what we’re doing today. We’re using technology in the form of high definition cameras and angled endoscopes. We’re also using image-guidance systems that act like a GPS for the nose and brain that allow us to go through the nose and remove tumors of the skull base and eyes. We’re doing things now that in the past would have required a big facial incision, considerable patient morbidity and prolonged hospital stays

About the Atlas of Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery

If you’re a beginner, performing endoscopic sinus surgery can be difficult and the anatomy can be hard to grasp. The step-by-step procedures that we lay out in the book help to correlate the anatomy, which we depict either with an illustration, CT scan, or MRI scan, to what it actually looks like on the endoscope. The Atlas of Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery gives our students and readers should look like as you progress through the surgery. Going step by step, using those modalities of learning, we hope that readers of this book will be able to take a surgical procedure all the way from prepping the patient to the closure and post-operative care.

Why Otolaryngology?

Otolaryngology is not a very well-publicized field. We aren’t usually featured on shows like ER or House. However, in medical school, I gravitated to the field where the surgeons are the happiest. I gravitated towards happy surgeons who felt they were making a difference in their patients’ lives, with opportunities to treat patients of different age ranges and types of pathologies. There is a tremendous spectrum of disease pathologies that we see, from head and neck cancer to sinus and skull base surgery to cosmetic surgery.


Alexander G. Chiu, MD is chief of the Division of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and a professor in the Department of Surgery at the University Medical Center of the University of Arizona. He is recognized as an expert and pioneer in the treatment for chronic sinusitis and endoscopic skull base surgery.

Dr. Chiu is the co-editor in chief of the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy and on serves on the editorial boards of ORL and Allergy and Rhinology and is editor of the Atlas of Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery. He has received several industry and foundation research grants for the study of topical irrigations for chronic sinusitis. He was instrumental in the development of an animal model for the study of topical medications.

Related Author: James N. Palmer, MD