Numerical Simulations of Unsteady Aerodynamic Flows Inside a Nasal Cavity with Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Xiao Bing Chen, Heow Pueh Lee, Vincent Fook Hin Chong, and De Yun Wang


Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery , nasal cavity, computational fluid dynamics


The aim was to evaluate the effects of Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) on nasal aerodynamic flow patterns using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. A 3-dimensional model of nasal cavity was first constructed from CT scans of a human subject with FESS interventions on left nasal cavity. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were then carried out for unsteady airflow inside the nasal cavity as well as the sinuses. Comparisons of the local velocity magnitude and streamline distributions inside the left and right nasal cavity and maxillary sinus regions were presented. Existence and distributions of local circulations (vortexes) were found to be different at different phases, which showed the importance of local inertial effects especially in the sinus around FESS operated region. Possible outcomes on functional performances of the nose were also examined and discussed. Such physical assessments of nasal airflow based on a model from the patient's CT scans may help clinicians to determine the best treatment in advance.

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