MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Roughly 29 million sinus patients in the United States spend years trying to find a solution to their recurrent sinus problems. Now, a Montgomery doctor is performing a "sinus balloon" procedure to relieve chronic misery in just minutes.
Many treat their sinus infections with antibiotics and nasal sprays, but if the drugs fail some turn to endoscopic sinus surgery, which requires a general anesthetic and a painful recovery period.
That's where Montgomery ENT Dr. Steven Chandler comes into play. Instead, he is performing a minimally invasive procedure in his office. The procedure uses a catheter and a "sinus balloon" device to open sinus pathways.
"Once we're certain that we're in the correct place, we advance the balloon and then dilate it and the balloon will open and it will dilate this region and then we can either use a suction to clean it out or we can place a stint or there's any number of things we can do to help treat the disease," Chandler said, demonstrating with the device how the procedure is done.
Loretta Hatchett is one of Dr. Chandler's patients. She had the procedure done a few months ago.
"It has done really great. I recommend it to anybody who wants it. The thing that I love about it is they don't have to put you to sleep," Hatchett said. Her procedure was done in the doctor's office without anesthesia.
"He told me that it would not take long. It's not very expensive, and he said that he didn't have to put me to sleep," Hatchett said.
She remembers what life was like before she had the procedure.
"I had problems with headaches, dizziness, and sometimes it would hurt me so bad it would make me regurgitate," Hatchett explained. She even had surgery to try to fix her sinus problems.
"The other sinus surgeries that I was having, they usually last like an hour, a couple hours or so and then you have to be on some antibiotics, a bunch of meds afterwards," Hatchett said.
However, none of those surgeries gave her any relief. That's when she was referred to Dr. Chandler and was told about the "sinus balloon" procedure.
"I was willing to try anything," she admitted.
Overall, she is happy with the results of the "sinus balloon" procedure.
"I feel better than I've felt in a long time and it's just amazing how I feel. So far so good. Everything is on the up and up for me," Hatchett added.
The procedure takes just minutes under a local anesthetic and is roughly 98 percent effective, according to multiple studies. Most patients recover in a day and the procedure is said to reduce subsequent sinus infections by about 75 percent.