So Long Suffering: New Technology Offers A Minimally Invasive Cure For Chronic Sinus Inflammation

Blocked sinuses, recurring headaches and a feeling of pressure on the face can be regular and painful occurrences for those in Georgia who have seasonal allergies. Not all of this sinus inflammation, or sinusitis, is triggered by allergies, but here in Georgia, with our high pollen counts, seemingly everyone has it in the spring and fall.

More than 37 million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis. Medications bring relief to some, but others need surgery to open blocked sinus passages. Sinuses help the body heat, clean and moisturize the air we breathe. If the sinus cavity gets blocked, problems can start.

“Sinuses don’t know they’re blocked,” says Robert A. Gadlage, M.D., FACS, a physician practicing at Gwinnett Medical Center. “Their job is to make mucus. Then the mucus fills the sinus like a swamp or a wet basement. Without air circulating into the sinuses, mold and bacteria can grow. In the past, to get that sinus cavity open, surgery often involved painful tissue or bone removal and as much as 36 inches of packed gauze in each nostril.”
NEW OPTION QUICKLY GAINS FAVOR
Today, there’s a much easier option. Relieva balloon sinuplasty technology is a minimally invasive treatment offered by Gwinnett Medical Center.

“With balloon sinuplasty,” says GMC’s Myron B. Jones, M.D., “a small, flexible balloon catheter is passed through the nostril into the blocked sinus passageway. When the balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and opens the passageway, restoring normal sinus drainage and function.”

Created by a cardiologist who had sinus issues, balloon sinuplasty is quickly becoming the first choice for minimally invasive sinus surgery.

“It’s similar in concept to balloon angioplasty [for opening blocked blood vessels],” adds David Dillard, M.D., FAAO-HNS, a physician affi liated with GMC. “In many cases it can be done without removing any tissue or bone. That means faster recovery times and less post-procedure discomfort. With balloon sinuplasty, we can easily reach even the sinus cavities above the eyes.”

LESS PAIN, SHORTER RECOVERY

Because balloon sinuplasty is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery, patients generally experience less pain, a shorter recovery and better long-term results. There’s even a way to release medication directly into the sinuses if it’s needed.

“It’s great to have this new technology that helps so many sinusitis sufferers,” says GMC physician Don Browning, M.D. “My patients love that it’s so much easier on them, and provides relief without the trauma of traditional surgery.”

So, sinus sufferers, breathe easy. With the help of the minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty surgery, you can enjoy spring and fall once again.

Find Out If Balloon Sinuplasty Is Right for You
For more information on balloon sinuplasty or other treatment options, visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/sinus. Or for a physician referral, call 678-312-5000 or click here to view our list of trained physicians.

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