In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty, Fact or Fiction?
During the winter season and throughout the Holidays, many patients in Southern California suffer from a condition called chronic sinusitis. This is an extremely common condition where one has daily symptoms of sinus pain and pressure, purulent nasal discharge, chronic nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, cough and bad breath for over 12 weeks. Most of these patients have seen multiple doctors and have been treated with multiple courses of oral antibiotics, nasal sprays, rinses, decongestants and even oral steroids without getting the relief that they are hoping for. That’s when these patients seek out an expert in nose and sinus disorders.
Dr. Alen Cohen at Southern California Sinus Institute (www.socalsinus.com) is one of the best known and most well-respected experts in nose and sinus disorders in Los Angeles. He states that by the time patients see him they are exhausted and just want to feel better once again. He reports that until about 5 years ago, the options for management of these patients were either more aggressive and longer-term medications with usually little success or a procedure he terms “Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Image-Guided Sinus Surgery (MIGSS)” which has an excellent success rate.
However, he states that over the past 3 years he is able to offer many patients a rather simple in-office Balloon Sinuplasty procedure. Most patients cannot fathom having a nose or sinus procedure done in the office setting. However after years of performing various in-office procedures on the nose and sinuses, he is now confident that the majority of patients can tolerate this minimally invasive in-office Balloon Sinuplasty with great results. He reports that patients compare it to having a dental procedure done in the office setting under a local anesthetic.
During the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure local anesthetics and topical numbing medicines are used to numb up the nasal cavities and various sinus opening, then a balloon catheter is inserted into the various sinus openings and dilated under endoscopic visualization. This is very similar to what is done to unclog the arteries of the heart during an angioplasty procedure. Patients leave the office with no packing and usually return back to work and normal activities within 24-48 hours of the procedure.
Dr. Cohen states that the quality of life improvement in these patients is immense after the procedure and so they are some of his happiest patients.
Alen N. Cohen, MD, FACS
Founder & Director, Southern California Sinus Institute (SCSI)
7345 Medical Center Drive, Suite 510
West Hills, CA 91307