Caldwell-Luc operation revisited
Although infrequently performed and to a greater extent, replaced by endoscopic maxillary sinus surgery (FESS), the Caldwell-Luc procedure is still useful in gaining access to the maxillary sinus.
Caldwell-Luc was used for treatment of chronic sinusitis, removal of polyps, cysts or foreign bodies, reduction of facial fractures, closure of dental fistulas into the maxillary sinus and as a route to the ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses. Other applications of Caldwell-Luc include visualization of the orbital floor for decompression, various forms of tumor surgery and access to the pterygomaxillary fossa (the space behind the maxillary sinus [.
This is a surgical procedure used esp. for clearing a blocked or infected maxillary sinus that involves entering the sinus through the mouth by way of an incision into the canine fossa above a canine tooth, cleaning the sinus, and creating a new and enlarged opening for drainage through the nose
This procedure was first described by George Caldwell in 1893 of New York, and to the best of my knowledge employed by him as a staff member of The New York Eye & Ear Infirmary.
Four years later Henri Luc of Paris described the same operation, and the procedure is now referred to as a Caldwell-Luc. Over the subsequent eighty years, this procedure became the “work horse” of much of sinus surgery .With the introduction of endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), Caldwell-Luc is much more selectively employed as intranasal approaches often permit excellent access to the maxillary sinus.