Finding nasal relief
(BPT) – Katherine Troise is one of the roughly 31 million people who suffers from sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages, which can become infected. It causes symptoms like facial pain and pressure, headaches and fatigue, and the discomfort can interfere with daily life, the ability to sleep and cause people to limit activities and even miss work.
Cold and flu season doesn't help because respiratory tract infections, colds, and viral or bacterial infections can cause inflammation that blocks the sinus openings. Other causes include nasal allergies, reactive airway disease, such as asthma, other medical conditions like cystic fibrosis, or even scar tissue from a previous surgery. Those with symptoms for 12 weeks or more are said to have chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).
Like Troise, some struggle with sinusitis for years before finding relief. A survey of 400 CRS sufferers found that more than half suffered for 15 years or more. Ninety percent of those surveyed said CRS negatively affected their quality of life.
"I had sinus issues my whole life, but never wanted to do anything very invasive," said Troise. "I was always sick in college and came in with constant sinus problems – tons of sinus infections, ear infections that I should not be getting at my age. My quality of life was not as high."
Sinusitis may be treated with antibiotics, decongestants and saline sprays. However, when these options fail to relieve symptoms, sinus surgery has been shown to help improve symptoms and restore quality of life, including reducing headaches, work/school time missed, frequency of doctor/nurse visits and acute infections.
"I always avoided sinus surgery because I heard horror stories of being out of work for weeks," said Troise. “When my doctor brought up something less invasive that was in office, I thought it was a good place to start."
The goal of sinus surgery is to flush out infected material, open blocked passages and restore normal function. One type of sinus surgery is balloon sinus surgery, which is a minimally invasive procedure performed in a doctor's office or in conjunction with other sinus surgery procedures as traditionally performed in the operating room. A small balloon is inserted into the nose; once secured in the right spot, it is inflated to open and drain blocked sinus pathways.
When performed in a doctor's office, this procedure has been associated with faster recovery times and lower out-ofpocket costs for eligible patients.
NuVentTM EM Sinus Dilation System, which has built-in image-guided technology, may make the process more accurate. Image-guided balloon sinus surgery allows the surgeon to look at a navigation screen to see a map of the sinuses and the location of the balloon. Like GPS on a car or phone, the surgeon can see, guide and place the balloon at the precise point to inflate and unblock sinuses.
"Many struggle unnecessarily with sinus issues for years because they don't seek the care they need or are afraid of sinus surgery," said Stacey Silvers, M.D. an ear, nose and throat specialist from Madison ENT. "My goal is to relieve my patients’ suffering as quickly and minimally invasively as possible, and the technology that NuVentTM uses makes the image-guided procedure a great option to help restore function and quality of life."
"This is the future. The navigated procedure was the least invasive way for me to feel better. I was awake, I was conscious, and I went back to work the next day. Before, I always was congested, and I sounded nasally. Now, my breathing has improved."
To find an ear, nose and throat or ENT specialist near you or for more information about the NuVent procedure, please visit www.sinusitissurgery.com.
Balloon dilation has associated risks, including tissue trauma, bleeding, infection and possible ophthalmic injury. Patients should always discuss their individual needs and the potential risks and benefits of any treatment or procedure with their doctor. This therapy is not for everyone. Please consult your physician. A prescription is required. For further information, please contact Medtronic at 800-874-5797 and/ or consult Medtronic's Web site at www. medtronicent.com.