Relief from Chronic Sinus Infections
With its allergens and high humidity, Tallahassee is “a sinus surgeon’s mecca,” says board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Adrian P. Roberts, a member of the local Tallahassee Ear, Nose and Throat practice.
The swelling and congestion of allergic reactions can lead to the pain and misery of a sinus infection. And for an unlucky few, a quirk of anatomy that makes it more difficult for their sinuses to drain properly can lead to chronic infections that never seem to go away.
Over the years, surgeries to correct the problem have evolved, making them safer and more precise (after all, they’re rooting around in close proximity to the eye and brain), but the latest innovation is a less invasive procedure with a shorter recovery time, Roberts says.
Called balloon sinuplasty, it borrows technology that has become commonplace in cardiac procedures. A catheter is inserted into the constricted sinus and a balloon at the end is inflated to create a larger opening. “It’s not nearly as traumatic” as the conventional treatment, Roberts says, which utilizes a motorized “Roto-Rooter”-type instrument to widen the sinus.
Several local ear, nose and throat doctors can do the balloon treatment in the hospital under general anesthesia. Sadly, “it’s not going to cure allergies at all,” says Roberts, but “it makes quality of life a whole lot better for the people you can get out of the (chronic infection) rut.”