New medical technology helps blocked sinuses

New techniques bring nasal relief

MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - Technological advancements in medicine are allowing people with sinus issues to seek relief.

Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist Dr. Joseph Berger said minimally invasive sinus balloon procedures are growing in popularity.

According to the CDC, 12% of all American adults suffer from chronic sinusitis.

Dr. Joseph Berger, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (Source: WALB)
Dr. Joseph Berger, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (Source: WALB)

A 2016 study found that of 15 adults who received balloon sinuplasty, all reported improved symptoms 3 and 6 months after surgery, without any unanticipated side effects.

Some of the options include opening up blocked sinuses, helping with allergy relief, and aiding with eustachian tube dysfunction.

These procedures can be performed in an operating room under anesthesia or in the office with sedation. When the operation is done, the balloon is expanding the boney opening-- without breaking it.

“It’s more of a fine membranous bone that is as thin as a wafer. And when you inflate that balloon with water, water does not compress," explained Dr. Berger, “So when that balloon expands 360 degrees, it actually moves the bone out of the way and it stretches the membrane that covers it so when it heals it remodels over a bigger opening.”

Berger said this procedure doesn’t tear any of the membrane because that creates scar tissue which would then cause sinuses to close back up.

Debbie Cannon, Patient of Dr. Berger (Source: WALB)
Debbie Cannon, Patient of Dr. Berger (Source: WALB)

One woman said she had sinusitis for many years with sinus infections three and four times a year.

“He did the surgery a little over two months ago. I’ve not had the sinus pressure, drainage. It’s been wonderful,” said Debbie Cannon, a patient of Dr. Berger.

In some cases a patient could feel immediate relief after the operation is complete.

Other times it takes a few weeks.

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