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Sinusitis Sufferers in Tennessee Are Given New Treatment Option

StoneCrest Medical Center recently announced that it is now the first hospital in Tennessee using balloon technology to treat chronic sinusitis, opening up a whole new treatment option to sinusitis patients. The medical center is now offering sinusitis sufferers a recently FDA-cleared treatment called “Balloon Sinuplasty”.

"Balloon Sinuplasty is similar to a cardiac cath, only it opens up your sinuses instead of your arteries," said Dr. Jack Coleman, an ear, nose and throat physician at StoneCrest and the only physician in Middle Tennessee trained to perform Balloon Sinuplasty. Coleman is one of 40 physicians in the U.S. trained to perform the procedure. Balloon Sinuplasty was cleared by the FDA in April of 2005.

Because it is a relatively new technology, Balloon Sinuplasty has only been performed on 145 patients since its introduction last year. The procedure uses a small, flexible, sinus balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, with the intent of restoring normal sinus drainage and function to the patient. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and widens the walls of the sinus passageway while still maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.

"This minimally-invasive procedure offers better long-term results than conventional sinus surgery because it preserves the mucosa, the layer of tissue covering the sinuses," said Coleman. "Unlike conventional sinus surgery, it doesn't involve removing bone, packing the sinuses and scarring."

Recovery time for patients going through Balloon Sinuplasty is often much shorter than those recovering from sinus surgery. Many patients who have Balloon Sinuplasty return to normal activity within 24 hours of surgery compared to about one week for those who undergo conventional sinus surgery.

Direct healthcare expenditures due to sinusitis cost are over $6 billion every year and well over 73 million restricted activity days are due to sinusitis and its symptoms. With sinusitis affecting around 37 million people in the United States annually, new treatment options can help provide renewed hope to many.

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