Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New procedure for treating chronic sinus infections – Balloon Sinuplasty is less invasive

Dallas – March 12, 2009 – Texas Institute for Surgery
· Sinusitis is one of the most common health problems in the US, afflicting an estimated 37 million Americans – approximately 14% of the adult U.S. population report issues with sinus pain.
· Unlike past procedures where tissue and bone are removed, the Balloon Sinuplasty system uses a small catheter and balloon to quickly open and expand blocked sinuses.
· New procedure is far less invasive and recovery times are quicker.
Claire Maestri, 30, of Dallas says while Spring is her favorite season, she used to dread this time of year.
“This past Fall I became ill and despite taking multiple prescription medications, I just could not shake a long series of debilitating sinus infections. My sinuses just went haywire and it doesn’t help that North Texas is one of the allergy capitals of the world,” Maestri, mother of a nine-month old son, says.
Maestri said she not only had a constantly stuffy nose, but she often experienced sinus pain in the form of headaches and felt quite lethargic.
Determined to find relief from chronic sinus infections, Maestri is one of the first patients in the county to undergo a relatively new procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty.
Dr. Ford Albritton, MD of the Texas Institute for Surgery at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas is one of the early pioneers of the procedure and recently demonstrated the breakthrough technique to KXAS-TV. Very similar to the use of balloons in certain cardio procedures, The Balloon Sinuplasty system by Acclarent™ uses a small catheter and balloon to quickly open and expand blocked sinuses. The balloon is then inflated to gently restructure and open the sinus passageway, restoring normal sinus drainage and function.
“Balloon sinuplasty is a true advance for sinus pain relief because in many cases it can be done without removing any tissue or bone. That means faster recovery times for my patients and less post-procedure discomfort. Many patients have been able to return to normal activities with 24 hours and have had a significant improvement in their symptoms,” Albritton says.
Until recently, patients suffering from chronic sinus pain were limited to two treatment options: medical therapy such as antibiotics and topical nasal steroids, or conventional sinus surgery such as Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS).
FESS is a conventional surgery that requires bone and tissue removal in order to open up blocked sinus passageways. With Balloon Sinuplasty no bone or tissue is removed which makes the procedure much easier on patients.
Maestri says her busy lifestyle and the needs of her family were a primary concern – while her sinus pain was severe enough to consider traditional sinus surgery in the past, a long recuperation was out of the question.
“Dr. Albritton had me sold when he told me the recuperation period from balloon sinuplasty was minimal. I did the surgery on a Monday and on Wednesday afternoon, I was out having lunch with my Mom and young son - and I felt great,” Maestri says.
She adds: “To say this surgery has had a profound impact would be putting it lightly – instead of headaches and lethargy that lasted for months; I have more energy and feel better than I have in a long time.”
Physicians around the country are traveling to Dallas to visit Texas Institute for Surgery to train under Dr. Albritton. As more physicians are trained, Albritton believes the procedure will become very popular.
Dr. Albritton also believes patients being affected by the shaky economy might be helped by this procedure. Many drugs used to treat sinus issues are now being sold over the counter which means they are not covered by insurance. For chronic sinus sufferers, the balloon sinuplasty procedure is covered by many insurance plans.
Learn more about treating sinus pain with Balloon Sinuplasty™ technology by visiting the Texas Institute for Surgery Sinus micro-site which includes a list of Dallas-Fort Worth area surgeons who have been meticulously trained to perform the procedure.
Sidebar: Facts About Sinusitis[1]:
  • Chronic sinus issues affect approximately 14% of the adult U.S. population.
  • Sinusitis affects 17% of women and 10% of men each year.
  • Chronic sinusitis (not including acute sinusitis) results annually in an estimated 18-22 million physician office visits.
  • Direct healthcare expenditures due to sinusitis cost are well over $8 billion each year.
  • Total restricted activity days due to sinus related issues are well over $73 million per year.
About Texas Institute for Surgery
Founded in 2004, Texas Institute for Surgery at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas is one of the premier specialty surgical hospitals in the country. Surgeons operating at Texas Institute for Surgery in North Dallas specialize in orthopedic surgery, back and spinal surgery, ENT procedures, sports medicine, plastic surgery, urological surgical care, and pain management among others. More information at http://www.texasinstituteforsurgery.com.
More Links
North Texas has been listed as one of the allergy capitals of the United States or “worse than average” by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation. Do you live in an allergy capital? Check here http://www.allergysavvy.com/page.jhtml?id=allergysavvy/include/fall_capitals.inc to see.