Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT)

Sino-Nasal Outcome Test

Balloon Sinuplasty

BalloonSinuplasty

Dr. Gergits prepares to perform balloon sinuplasty on a patient in the office.

Stuffy nose? headaches? post-nasal drainage? These are all symptoms of sinus problems.

Experts estimate that about 37 million people suffer with sinusitis each year, making it one of the most common health problems. Not surprisingly, doctors and researchers invest countless hours and finances to find more effective and safer treatments for sinusitis.

Previously, treatment options for sinusitis were limited. After antibiotics failed to offer relief, surgery was the only other option. Surgery, or more specifically, functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), includes general anesthesia, invasive exploration of the affected sinuses, removal of diseased tissue, placement of packing, moderate pain post-surgery, and at least a week of recovery, meaning days of missed work or school.

Recently, a “new” procedure was introduced to the sinusitis treatment regimen, offering sufferers another option to finally find relief. This procedure isn’t new since it is basically the same procedure used by cardiologists to clear out blocked blood vessels. This same idea was applied to the sinus drainage pathways that become inflamed and narrow from sinus infection and disease. This procedure is called “balloon sinuplasty.”

Balloon sinuplasty is the perfect bridge between medication therapy and FESS. It offers many advantages over traditional FESS, including no need for general anesthesia, only mild sedation. Instead of invasive exploration and removal of tissue which translate to moderate pain during recovery, balloon sinuplasty is consistently rated as equal to or less than the discomfort experienced during a simple dental procedure. Recovery from balloon sinuplasty requires about 2 days with only mild pain, allowing the patient to return to work or school much sooner.

“The beauty of this procedure is that there’s no packing inside, the pain management medications that the patients will use after surgery are minimal, and their recovery and time back to work is quicker,” Dr. Gergits explains.

It’s a gentle treatment requiring skilled hands, a small wire and a tiny balloon that is threaded to the problem spot. “We use special techniques to visualize and confirm the placement of the balloon, and then in a gentle fashion, we inflate the balloon, dilating the natural drainage pathway without actually cutting material or tissues from the sinuses,” Dr. Gergits says. Within a couple of days, patients are back to their normal routines.

Balloon sinuplasty has been in use since 2005, when it was approved by the FDA. Dr. Gergits has the distinction of being the first physician in Pennsylvania to perform this procedure in 2006. Since then, he has performed hundreds of balloon sinuplasties with the recent introduction of in-office balloon sinuplasty. In-office balloon sinuplasty offers even more convenience to the sinusitis sufferer. Dr. Gergits routinely performs in-office balloon sinuplasties on Saturday mornings in an attempt to offer his patients effective sinus relief with expanded business hours.

His patients frequently feel amazing relief right after the procedure and are happy to offer their testimonials about how simple and effective this procedure has been for them.

Of course, not everyone with chronic sinusitis is a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, and these patients can often find relief with traditional FESS. Additionally, Dr. Gergits cautions that balloon sinuplasty is sometimes not completely curative for a patient, requiring further surgical intervention, usually FESS.

Education is your most important weapon and defense. Knowing what options you have as far as treatments for you and your family’s afflictions is extremely important. Not every procedure is necessarily recommended for every patient, but learning about all the options gives you far more of an advantage in the quest for your best health.

 

Dr. Franklyn Gergits was featured on WNEP Healthwatch 16 performing Balloon Sinuplasty. Check out the following link for the video of the procedure and the benefits it has brought to many of the great patients of our practice.

WNEP Healthwatch 16 Northeast Ear, Nose and Throat Associates Balloon Sinuplasty Feature