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It’s an annual rite of passage for those who suffer from seasonal allergies: blocked sinuses, loss of sense of smell, recurring headaches and a feeling of “pressure” on the face.
Yes, it’s sinus season. Sinusitis affects approximately 37 million people in the U.S. each year, but we’ve got a state-of-the-art method for treating this common ailment.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining caused by bacterial, viral and/or fungal infections; as well as structural issues resulting in blockages of the sinus opening. If the sinus opening is closed, normal mucus drainage may not occur, which can lead to infection and inflammation of the sinuses.
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
• Facial pain, pressure
• Nasal congestion or fullness
• Difficulty breathing through the nose
• Discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose
• Tooth pain
• Loss of smell or taste
• Sore throat
• Bad breath
If treatment with antibiotics for more than three weeks fails to relieve symptoms, or if symptoms recur more than four times per year, surgery is an option.
Similar to angioplasty in the heart, endoscopic surgery with balloon sinuplasty is an alternative solution to traditional sinus surgery, using minimally invasive balloon catheters to open blocked sinus passageways.
The balloon is inflated to gently restructure and open the sinus passageway.
It is then removed, restoring normal sinus drainage and function without tissue or bone removal.
What are the benefits of using Balloon Sinuplasty devices?
Minimally invasive, it’s safe and effective — studies demonstrate no major complications since inception in 2006, with 95 percent effectiveness. Additional benefits include reduced bleeding and surgery time, along with a fast recovery period and potential return to normal activities within 24 hours.
Los Alamos Medical Center is one of only a handful of hospitals in New Mexico offering this new, minimally invasive technology to get you back on top of your life. Please feel free to contact me for further information.
Ian Alexander, MD, is an otolaryngologist at Los Alamos Medical Center. He specializes in the treatment of ear, nose, and throat (ENT).