Sinusitis is one of the most common chronic health problems in the U.S., afflicting 37 million Americans each year. Patients suffer headaches, congestion, fatigue and other symptoms. This condition significantly impacts an individual's physical, functional, and emotional quality of life.
Historically, sinusitis patients were limited to two treatment options: medical therapy such as antibiotics and topical steroids, or conventional sinus surgery such as Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS). Medical therapy can help alleviate symptoms in as many as 80 percent of patients but is inadequate for the rest. For them, sinus surgery is often the best option. However, FESS is a conventional surgery that requires bone and tissue removal in order to open up blocked sinus passageways. In lieu of a desired treatment, approximately 900,000 patients each year elect to live with painful sinus conditions.
There is an alternative solution in endoscopic sinus surgery with the balloon sinuplasty technology. A small, flexible balloon catheter is placed through a nostril into the blocked sinus passageway. The balloon is the inflated to gently reshape and open the sinus passageway, restoring normal sinus drainage and function.
I am the first physician in this area to offer this technology. During the past three years, I have performed over 200 balloon procedures. Balloon sinuplasty is a true advance in sinus care because in many cases it can be done without removing any tissue or bone. That means faster recovery times and less post-procedure discomfort. In fact, many of my patients have been able to return to normal activities within 24 to 48 hours and have had significant improvement in their symptoms.
The international, multi-center study, CLEAR, published in the journal, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, confirmed that the Balloon Sinuplasty instruments are safe and effective for opening blocked sinuses. The CLEAR study reported:
"91.6 percent patency rate at one-year; 70 patients,
"No serious adverse events at two-years; 65 patients, and
"Symptom improvement for 85 percent of patients at two years."
Sinusitis patients who are considering their options can learn more about this technology by visiting IOWAENT.COM or calling my office at 576-3100.
Dr. F.E. Gonzales, who is board certified in otolaryngology, is affiliated with Iowa ENT and Sinus Surgery Center, headquartered in Fort Dodge.