Revolutionary Solution for Sinus Woes

Linda Surdin, a retired Los Angeles law enforcement officer who now lives in Florida, attributed her frequent runny nose and eyes to unknown allergies. Her throat often felt irritated and she had difficulty swallowing.

Linda Surdin treated for sinus blockage through balloon sinus dilation by Devang Shah, MD, at Atlantic Ear, Nose & Throat.

Linda is ecstatic that her annoying symptoms are gone.

“I was always sneezing – it was the sneezing that really got to me,” she shares. “A lot of times, I was self-diagnosing and would tell myself it was a sinus infection. I would take an over-the-counter allergy medicine like Zyrtec®, but it didn’t help.”

Her family doctor referred Linda to Devang Shah, MD, a board-certified otolaryngologist at Atlantic Ear, Nose & Throat.

Tests confirmed allergies weren’t the cause of Linda’s sinus woes. She didn’t have any allergies, according to lab results.

Dr. Shah ordered a CT scan, which revealed the true reason behind her symptoms. Linda had significant blockages in her sinus cavities.

He recommended balloon sinus dilation, also called balloon sinuplasty. The in-office procedure is revolutionary in sinus treatment because it is much less invasive and easier on the patient, compared to traditional sinus surgery. It also has a much quicker recovery time.

Done in a Day

“Linda first presented with throat symptoms. She also had some allergy-type symptoms that we ultimately connected to her sinuses. A CT scan showed an obstruction in her sinuses on both sides of her nose,” notes Dr. Shah.

“Anatomically, her sinus cavities were narrow to begin with and over time, there might have been some scarring from infections. This can cause the narrowing to increase,” he adds.

The goal of balloon sinus dilation is to gently restore the natural drainage pathway of the sinuses. Studies have shown the FDA-approved procedure is just as effective as the traditional, surgical approach.

“The traditional approach to chronic sinus problems is to aggressively remove tissue to open up the sinuses,” educates Dr. Shah. “Typically, it is done under general anesthesia.

“In contrast, balloon dilation is done using a catheter to very gently dilate the openings of the sinuses without having to remove tissue.”

The outpatient procedure is completed right in Dr. Shah’s office. With the patient under mild sedation, a balloon catheter is inserted into the affected sinus. Once in place, the balloon is inflated and expands the sinus opening, which is then flushed with saline. The balloon is then deflated, the catheter is removed and the sinus remains open.

Most patients are able to go back to their normal activities the very next day, so very little downtime is required.

“It’s Just Phenomenal”

“I felt absolutely nothing,” recalls Linda about having the procedure. “Dr. Shah put a cover over my eyes and asked me what kind of music I liked. I told him Frank Sinatra and it seemed like twenty minutes later, I was on my way home.

“The next day, I felt great. No sneezing. No watery eyes. No runny nose. The procedure took care of everything immediately.”

Linda appreciates how Dr. Shah kept her informed at every appointment.

“Dr. Shah answers all of my questions and when I leave his office, there’s no doubt in my mind what’s going on,” she reports. “His office staff is incredibly efficient. I was absolutely blown away by how helpful everyone is.

“I’m so, so happy that the trouble I was having wasn’t because I was allergic to ragweed or grass or my dog,” adds Linda. “Whatever was going on with my sinuses is gone. It’s just phenomenal.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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    • Atlantic Ear, Nose and Throat, P.A.

      Atlantic Ear, Nose & Throat is a comprehensive, full-service otolaryngology practice with offices in both Seminole and Volusia counties. In the practice, Devang Shah, MD, and Daniel Rothbaum, MD, combine surgical excellence with a compassion... Read More

    • Devang Shah, MD

      Devang M. Shah, MD, is board certified in otolaryngology. After receiving his medical degree with honors from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ, he completed his surgical internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hosp... Read More

    • Daniel Rothbaum, MD

      Daniel Rothbaum, MD, is board certified in otolaryngology. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine, he completed his general surgical internship and residency at J... Read More