Your nose is congested and it’s hard to breathe. Thick mucus irritates th e back of your throat. Your face, head and even your teeth hurt from the pressure. You’re losing your sense of smell and taste. You think that it must be yet another cold or allergy attack again this year. It’s not. You have sinusitis, a health problem that affects nearly 37 million American each year.
Through the advancements of ear, nose and throat care and with the help of Dr. Stacey Hudson, otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat physician) and chair of department of surgery at Renown South Meadows Medical Center, the Sinus Surgery Program at Renown South Meadows Medical Center announces a new minimally invasive procedure that helps curb ch ronic sinus conditions like sinusitis.
“Balloon Sinuplasty is a breakthrough procedure that relieves the pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis while preserving the natural structure of the sinuses,” Dr. Hudson said. “It is used by surgeons to safely and effectively treat chronic sinusitis patients who are not responding well to medications such as antibiotics, nasal steroids or over‐the‐count er drugs.”
How it works
Similar to how angioplasty uses balloons to open blocked arteries, Balloon Sinuplasty (a system of FDA‐cleared, catheter‐based instruments) opens blocked sinuses. A specially‐designed catheter is inserted into the nose to reach the inflamed sinus. A small balloon is slowly inflated, which widens and restructures the walls of the sinus passage without cutting and with minimal bleeding. The balloon is then removed, leaving the sinuses open. When completed the procedure helps to drain mucus from the blocked sinus and restore normal mucus flow.
Physician and patient benefits
According to published studies, up to 49 percent of chronic sinusitis patients are not successfully treated with medication. Published clinical studies have shown significant improvement in patient symptoms with significantly less pain than traditional sinus surgery. In some cases, clinically and statistically significant improvement in patient symptoms was observed up to two years after the procedure.
Balloon Sinuplasty is less invasive than conventional sinus surgery. It allows patients to quickly return to normal activities and is usually performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient setting. Some physicians may use Balloon Sinuplasty to less‐invasively open blocked sinus passages in combination with functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) for patients who have advanced chronic sinusitis or other complications.
Patients report they often confuse sinus infection symptoms with allergy symptoms. Individuals who experience frequent sinus infections may be prone to developing chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis that lasts longer than six weeks is known as chronic sinusitis.
Individuals w ho think they may have chronic sinusitis should ask their general practitioner or primary care physician to recommend or refer them to Dr. Hudson. Dr. Hudson may use several methods to help screen for chronic sinusitis: visual inspection, nasal endoscopy, CT scan, and/or nasal and sinus cultures.