Those who suffer from pounding sinus headaches may have a new option and it is available at the Ogden Clinic.
Ogden Clinic Dr. Nadim Bikhazi is reportedly one of the country’s top practitioners in using a balloon technology procedure to treat chronic sinusitis.
“In the past, surgery was the option of last resort,” said Dr. Bikhazi. “This newer, minimally invasive technology called balloon sinus dilation can be seen as an intermediate step. It’s really reserved for those people who have failed medical therapy for chronic sinus infections.”
Dr. Bikhazi said medical therapy includes decongestants and antibiotics.
“If you have failed using those, and have had repeated symptoms, you would be a candidate for this procedure.”
He said once a patient is evaluated in the clinic, a CT scan is done, which is a type of x-ray of the anatomy of the sinuses to determine if the patient would be a good candidate for the procedure.
He likens it to a dental procedure and it is done in the office setting.
“We spend a lot of time numbing the area in the nose with a combination of cotton balls and even some very small local injections that are very well tolerated. Patients say they barely even felt what we did.
“Once the numbing is done we insert a guide wire into the sinus that’s plugged, followed by a balloon that actually opens the sinus permanantly. It causes small openings and micro fractures in the bone so it kind of opens these little nooks and crannies that are plugged.”
An 18-month study revealed that patients who had balloon dilation therapy had exactly the same results as if they had gone through conventional sinus surgery, which is more invasive and has a longer recovery time.
“In the study the advantage for the balloon dilation group was that they returned to work in two days versus five days for sinus surgery patients.
“Also, it was true that both groups had a marked reduction in the numbers of infections going forward.”