Surgical Procedures for Sinus-Related Problems
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
If you suffer from chronic sinus headaches, you are all too familiar with the constant pressure and pain. No doubt you’ve tried over-the-counter treatments like medications and saline rinses, but your sinus problems only return. You need to discover balloon sinuplasty, the modern way to treat sinusitis. This minimally invasive treatment can work wonders to help clear inflammation and blockage in your sinuses. Dr. Zhou and Dr, Thomason, your ear, nose and throat specialists want you to know how balloon sinuplasty can help you feel better and clearer.
If you suffer from sinus problems, you are not alone. Sinusitis or inflammation of the sinuses affects 37 million Americans every year. Many people don’t get relief from conventional treatments, and balloon sinuplasty can help.
Dr. Zhou and Dr. Thomason want you to know you will benefit from balloon sinuplasty treatment if you suffer from:
- Chronic sinus or nasal problems
- Recurrent sinus infections not relieved by medication
- Headaches and pressure around your eyes
- Stuffiness and difficulty breathing through your nose
- Chronic bad taste in your mouth or bad breath
Balloon sinus dilation, also known as sinuplasty, is an exciting new treatment to relieve chronic or recurrent sinus infections. Sinus infections are caused by inflammation in the lining of the sinus cavities. Sinuses are large air-filled spaces that are lined with a mucus membrane lining. This mucus membrane continually produces a thin sheet of moist mucus that is swept across the surface and out of the natural sinus openings. The problem with our anatomy is that these openings are naturally very narrow spaces--about like a pin-hole for most people. Swelling of the mucus membranes from allergies or viruses causes these natural openings to swell shut. Then the affected sinus cavity cannot naturally empty the mucus layer. The mucus collects and there is bacterial overgrowth that causes infection and illness.
Sinuplasty helps with sinus infections because the natural opening to the sinus can be dilated to allow for adequate drainage. When there is adequate drainage, the sinus inflammation will settle down and sinusitis symptoms are relieved.
Sinus Surgery Experts in Dallas Fort Worth
Sinus surgery is a common procedure for patients who suffer with chronic or recurrent sinus infections. This outpatient surgical procedure involves removal of polyps from the nasal cavity and removal of inflamed tissue to relieve obstructed sinuses. We perform sinus surgery when patients have extensive amounts of inflamed tissue, often with nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are fleshy finger-like growths that form inside the nasal cavity and sinuses when there is long-standing inflammation.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes about 1.5-2 hours. Patients go home after the procedure and generally take a 3-5 days off from work or school. Sinus surgery has a high satisfaction rate--especially for those who have obstructive polyps. It is important, however, to have good medical management of allergies and sinus inflammation after the surgery. In fact, one of the real benefits of sinus surgery is that it opens the anatomy of the sinuses in a way that makes topical medications more effective--because they can reach the surfaces of the sinuses much better than before surgery.
Sinus Surgery Tutorial
Radiofrequency Ablation for Nasal Congestion
The nasal turbinates are shelf-like structures in the nasal cavity. They act as a type of air foil system that warms and humidifies inspired air. The turbinates swell as a response to inflammation and when they do it causes congestion and stuffiness. The swelling can be due to allergies, infections from viruses or bacteria, or other causes.
Turbinate treatment reduces the amount of tissue on the front part of the lower turbinate, which is the most critical part affecting the airway.
This simple office-based procedure is performed with topical and local anesthesia. It is completely painless and takes just a few minutes to create a lasting improvement in nasal breathing. We use a technique called radiofrequency ablation to precisely treat the turbinates.
Reconstructive Nasal Surgery to Help Nasal Breathing
Rhinoplasty is performed to correct abnormalities of the bony and cartilaginous structure of the nose. It may be for cosmetic reasons or for the purpose of improving nasal breathing--called a functional rhinoplasty. Patients may have a history of nasal injury or may have a poor airway because of the strength and shape of the nasal cartilages. There are a variety of techniques that we use to correct these abnormalities.
Functional rhinoplasty is covered by many insurance plans if certain criteria are met. During your examination we will determine if you would be a good candidate for a functional rhinoplasty.
Surgery to correct deviated nasal septum.
Septoplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure that is performed to straighten a deviated septum. The septum is a thin wall of cartilage that separates the nasal cavity into right and left sides. Normally, the septum is fairly straight and does not block the breathing passage on either side. However, many patients have curvature in this cartilage that causes narrowing of the airway.
Do you experience red, itchy eyes when going outside? Do certain foods cause you nausea or abdominal pain? Then you could be suffering from allergies. Allergies are so common that they affect about 30 percent of adults, and while there isn’t a cure, the ENT doctors at Metroplex ENT & Allergy are here to make sure that you get the compassionate and individualized allergy treatment you need to manage your symptoms more effectively.
An allergy develops when the immune system overreacts to a harmless allergen. Common allergens include:
• Pollen and weeds
• Animal dander
• Foods (e.g. nuts; eggs; shellfish)
• Dust mites
Having allergies can produce a variety of symptoms from headaches and skin rashes to nausea and sneezing. While many allergies aren’t life threatening there are some that are. An appointment with one of our ENT specialists will help to determine the cause and severity of your allergy symptoms.
Through a thorough medical evaluation, we will be able to create a treatment plan that will help to reduce and even eliminate your symptoms. Blood and skin tests can often provide us with an accurate diagnosis to help determine the culprit behind your allergies.
While avoiding the allergen is key to preventing your symptoms, we know that sometimes this is impossible. Fortunately, there are treatment options out there such as medication and immunotherapy that can provide the relief you’ve been looking for.
Antihistamines are often the first line of defense against allergy symptoms.
Antihistamines are known to treat symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, sneezing, hives and itchy eyes. Over-the-counter antihistamines may work well for relieving your symptoms, while patients with more severe symptoms will often benefit from a stronger, prescription-strength antihistamine.
Decongestants are also a great medication for relieving nasal congestion and can be used along with antihistamines. If nasal inflammation, congestion or other allergy symptoms are more severe or aren’t responding to these other treatments, then we may prescribe steroids. Of course, steroids do come with potential side effects, so it’s always important to talk with us if you have any questions or concerns about taking steroids.
If medications just aren’t cutting it, then it might be time to consider immunotherapy, or “allergy shots”. Over time, these injections are designed to help your body get used to the allergen, which can be a major relief for those chronic or severe allergy sufferers.
We perform skin testing or blood testing for respiratory allergies such as pollen, dust, mold, and animal dander.
This is our most popular allergy treatment. Drops are taken daily under the tongue to gradually desensitize to allergies.
We also provide allergy shots, also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy.
- There is an exciting new treatment for patients who suffer with a condition called vasomotor rhinitis. The hallmark of vasomotor rhinitis is nasal stuffiness and congestion that comes and goes throughout the day but is usually worse when lying down in bed. Patients often wake up at night with a clogged nose which may contribute to snoring and sleep apnea.
The procedure works by freezing a spot in the back of the nasal cavity at the location of a nerve called the vidian nerve. The activity of the vidian nerve is what signals the lining of the nose and sinuses to swell and produce excessive mucus. Cryotherapy freezes this nerve, thereby weakening it and diminishing its function. The result for the patient is long-term improvement in congestion and runny nose symptoms.
This procedure is performed in the office with topical anesthesia inside the nose. A camera is used to visualize the back part of the nasal cavity. The cryotherapy device is then placed against the mucus membrane at the site of the vidian nerve and the freezing therapy is activated for 30 seconds. There is no pain at all during the procedure. Both the left and right sides are treated in the same manner. The procedure takes about 15 minutes total time.
After the procedure patients are encouraged to go home and rest and sip a warm drink such as tea. Occasionally, patients my feel a headache similar to an “ice cream” headache as if eating something cold too quickly. Over-the-counter Tylenol or Motrin may be appropriate but prescription pain medicine is not needed. Patients may return to work the following day but should avoid strenuous lifting or exercise for 72 hours.