In the absence of evidence of suppurative disease, clinical assessment of the symptomatic patient after frontal osteoplastic flap with fat obliteration is difficult because the cause of the pain is often neuralgic or from chronic vascular headache. Among 59 patients who have undergone this procedure at our institution since 1979, four required revision surgery. These patients were evaluated by computed tomographic and magnetic resonance scans, and the radiographic findings were compared with those present in 20 asymptomatic subjects. On the basis of the results of this study, we believe we can objectively identify those patients with chronic pain in whom the operation has been unsuccessful. A review of our experience with this procedure is presented along with criteria that enable early diagnosis of recurrent disease in the frontal sinus after osteoplastic sinusotomy.