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Dr. Stacey Silvers, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist at Beth Israel Medical Hospital in New York, talks about chronic sinusitis, a painful condition that can significantly impact one’s quality of life, and the minimally invasive procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty that is bringing relief to more than 250,000 patients nationwide. She has been named among America's Top Physicians in 2007 and 2005 and among America's Top Surgeons in 2006, 2004 and 2003 in both Facial Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology.
Chronic sinusitis is when the sinuses don't function properly. And the normal function of the sinuses is to produce mucus, to warm the air, to filter the air, and to moisten the air. If the linings of the sinuses get swollen or congested because the mucus that they naturally make doesn't get out and the air doesn't get in, patients suffer with persistent daily symptoms, which may include facial pressure, headache, congestion, postnasal drip, and chronic fatigue.
…For chronic sinusitis, initially patients will go on natural sinus washes, prescription nasal sprays, sometimes allergy medication when it's clinically indicated. When these simple, conservative medical managements fail, we then need to take the next step. And the next step is getting the doors of the sinuses open, so they function and they breathe normally. One amazing way to do that is something called Balloon Sinuplasty.
A good comparison of what Balloon Sinuplasty accomplishes for the sinuses is angioplasty for the heart. Angioplasty for the heart just opens the blood vessels so there's better blood flow to the heart. Balloon Sinuplasty opens the sinuses so there's more air getting into the sinuses and the natural mucus that we make gets out of the sinuses. And, therefore, patients have less sinus pressure, less sinus headaches, less postnasal drip, better breathing, and less fatigue.
Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure, where we simply pass a balloon through the nose into the door of the sinus. We then inflate the balloon. This acts to widen the door of the sinus. The sinus will now function better, whereas air can get in and the mucus can get out, and patients' sinus symptoms are markedly improved.
One big advantage of Balloon Sinuplasty is it can be done awake, in the office, under local anesthesia. Many patients -- the one thing they fear about surgery is being put to sleep. So I think it's very comforting for patients to know that this is something that they can do in the office awake to fix the chronic problems that they've had for years.
The advantage of Balloon Sinuplasty is unlike a lot of prescription medications or over-the-counter medications, which have temporary fixes to chronic sinus symptoms, Balloon Sinuplasty, in many patients, can be a permanent fix to their chronic sinus problems.
Traditional sinus surgery involves cutting at the doors of the sinuses. This can potentially lead to bleeding postoperatively, pain postoperatively, and oftentimes patients will take more time off of work. Cutting around the doors of the sinuses can also lead to scarring, and a year or a couple years after the procedure, patients can start developing sinus problems again. The advantage of Balloon Sinuplasty, which is a minimally invasive procedure, it can be done awake, under local anesthesia… and for a physician to be able to change and improve the quality of patients’ lives with such a minimally invasive simple procedure that we can do in the office is really remarkable.
Like, I would wake up every morning and kind of really slowly open my eyes and wonder if it was going to be a good day or if it was going to be a bad day. I actually was super-apprehensive about moving to the city in the first place because of my symptoms. For the first three years of living here it was a huge struggle. I mean, any time I would go on the subway -- just the pollution and the dirt and the lack of oxygen -- I immediately would feel myself getting more and more congested.
Because my sinus pressure would always lead to headaches I was told that maybe I had tension migraines, maybe I had allergies, maybe I had just some sort of chronic sinus infection.
So for a really long time I would use nose sprays because that was the only thing that would somewhat alleviate the symptoms, although it wouldn't make it go away. And I got a lot of sinus infections, so I would, from time to time, take antibiotics for that.
I feel like I've had a lot of moments over the years where I have either thought to myself or said out loud, "I will do anything -- I will do absolutely anything -- to not feel this way for one more second."
So I heard about the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure and just got really excited because it sounded like exactly what I wanted. And I always had said if I could just open it up and, like, take all the stuff out of my sinuses, just drain my face, that would make me feel so much better. So I talked to Dr. Silvers about the procedure. And I was really excited about the idea of having a solution.
As far as the procedure goes, it's really fast. I was done within a half hour. It doesn't hurt at all. It's just a moderate pressure, which in no way compares to the pressure that I was feeling on a regular basis.
Since the Balloon Sinuplasty I feel amazing. I think I actually didn't know how good I could feel until now, because it's actually been so long that I've had these symptoms that I've forgot what it was like to just feel normal. So I can breathe much better. I sleep much better. I wake up more well-rested, even when I get less sleep somehow.
I really like to run, to work out. And now I'm able to do those things until my body gets tired, as opposed to feeling limited by not being able to breathe. I just feel so much better. I have so much more energy. And it's so fun to feel like I'm just me again.
Note: Results may vary.
I was trying just about anything, all kinds of homeopathic remedies and teas. I literally tried it all. I tried a hyperbaric chamber to see if I could get more oxygen by sleeping in one of those things. None of it worked.
It’s crazy that it was such a simple procedure to get done, to fix something that I struggled with for a long time.
After surgery, there was not a lot of recovery time, and when I think about how I feel now and how I’m capable of breathing, it was an easy decision.
I tell others that Balloon Sinuplasty is a must!
Note: Results may vary.
I had five previous sinus surgeries before surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty Technology. After these prior surgeries, my face was bruised, I had a lot of bleeding, and I was in a lot of pain. I probably missed several weeks of work over the years due to these surgeries. It was frustrating to have surgery after surgery and not feel like I had remedied the problem.
In contrast, right after surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty Technology, when I woke up I felt great. I didn’t feel any pressure, aching pain, or a headache. When I walked out of the building an hour or two after my surgery to go home, I could smell that there was a fire close by! I was amazed at how quickly after the surgery I was able to breathe. I also looked perfectly normal.
It’s been a year and a half since the procedure, and I have felt awesome! I haven’t had lingering sinus infections like before, I don’t have the constant sinus pressure and headaches, and I can sleep at night.
Note: Results may vary.
Another result of my sinusitis was a complete loss of smell or taste - those two senses were completely gone.
In the past 7 months since surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty Technology, my breathing has been 100% better. I am actually able to close my mouth and breathe at the same time, which I was never able to do. I can speak on the phone with much more clarity, and don’t have to limit my phone usage like I used to. It’s also nice to sit down to a meal and enjoy the smell and taste of my food.
Surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty Technology was the only option I could see for myself. I don’t like to take medications, so the prospect of taking medication for the rest of my life was unappealing. I tried acupuncture and herbal medicine, which helped, but it didn’t address my sinusitis on an ongoing basis.
My life has changed dramatically. The entire process of surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty was very short, pain-free, and I’d recommend it to anyone.
Note: Results may vary.
For more information call 1-877-868-6673
BSP is a breakthrough sinus surgery procedure performed by ENT doctors that opens sinus passages to relieve sinus pain and sinus pressure associated with chronic sinusitis.
Balloon Sinuplasty Technology is intended for use by or under the direction of a physician. Balloon Sinuplasty Technology has associated risks, including tissue and mucosal trauma, infection, or possible optic injury. Consult your physician for a full discussion of risks and benefits to determine whether this procedure is right for you.