Lighting Up Sinus Problems

10/17/2008 Las Vegas Little comes between Gary Haman and his golf. He's got his 250-yard-drive back in play, but for a while, severe headaches and trouble with balance drove him away.

"Everyday I couldn't smell," he recalled to Ivanhoe. "I couldn't breathe through my nose very well. I couldn't taste food." Now there's new hope for sinus sufferers -- illuminated balloon sinuplasty.

"It's kind of like balloon angioplasty, like they were doing for the heart," Ashley Sikand, M.D., an otolaryngologist at Ear, Nose and Throat Consultants of Nevada in Las Vegas, told Ivanhoe.

A guide wire with fiber optic cable leads the way, lighting up the sinus for doctors. A tiny catheter with a balloon on the end follows it. When the balloon is in the right place, it's inflated, expanding the sinus opening.

"You're actually moving the bone slightly and studies have shown that it stays in that position," Dr. Sikand said. "It doesn't regrow back and close off the sinuses." The balloon is removed and the patient goes home the same day.

"The opening is enlarged and restores it to normal health," Dr. Sikand explained.

This procedure produces the same results as traditional surgery, that would reshape the sinus with less tissue trauma, no incision, little bleeding and faster recovery.

Just a few weeks after surgery, Haman is breathing easier. He can smell and taste again.

"My head doesn't hurt so blasted bad so I can focus," he said. "It feels like I'm just one person instead of like seven inside my head which is a good thing…" a good thing that's got Haman back into the swing of things.

Balloon sinuplasty is good for people who do not respond to antibiotics and other sinus problems. The entire surgery usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Ear Nose and Throat Consultants of Nevada
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 792-6700


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