Living with sniffles and a stuffy nose can be exhausting. “It is a pretty miserable condition. These reoccurring sinus infections really slow them down and take a toll on their lives,” said Dr. Justin Casey, an otolaryngologist on the medical staff of Lee Health.
Patients living with chronic sinusitis have symptoms like nasal obstruction, facial pain, post nasal drip, runny nose, and congestion. “It’s not caused by any one thing. So typically these patients will end up in and out of urgent care, ER’s, and primary care offices getting antibiotic after antibiotic. It gets better temporarily but always comes back. That’s because chronic sinusitis is not based purely off of bacteria. It’s largely based on the anatomy of the sinuses that allow these recurrent infections,” said Dr. Casey.
A minimally invasive, in-office procedure can help to change the anatomy of the sinuses offering the patient relief. “We use a small probe or guide wire to go into the sinus. We pass a deflated balloon over that guide wire, and then we inflate the balloon and dilate the opening of the sinus. This allows us to remove any infection in the sinus and also that sinus remains open so that future infections won’t build up in there,” said Dr. Casey.
The procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes and afterward patients can go home and get back to their normal routine the next day. “This procedure is only for certain patients. It’s not for every patient that has chronic sinusitis. Typically we use this for patients with milder chronic sinusitis; the really severe ones may need to still go to the operating room,” said Dr. Casey.
But for patients who qualify, the one-time procedure can help them overcome all symptoms related to chronic sinusitis and improve their quality of life.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.