OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – According to the CDC, nearly 30 million Americans suffer from severe chronic sinus infections causing roughly 50 million office visits because of chronic sinus problems. Instead of traditional sinus surgery, doctors at the Ogden Clinic say there’s an easier, less invasive fix.
ABC4 cameras were invited into the doctor’s office as an Ogden woman who didn’t want to be identified, got the minimally invasive sinus procedure. The procedure only took a few minutes.
“I’m very excited if it helps. It’s been so miserable.”
Ear Nose and Throat Specialist Dr. Nadim Bikhazi at the Ogden Clinic says sinuplasty has been around for more than a decade but only recently has it gained in popularity.
Dr. Bikhazi uses a balloon to open up the sinus pathways.
Nancy Hoskins underwent this same non-invasive sinus procedure last week.
“I’ve had chronic allergies all my life.”
That would lead to sinus infections. She had the traditional sinus surgery 10 years ago.
“It was definitely worth it, but it was unpleasant.”
When Nancy’s sinus infections returned years later, she learned about the minimally invasive sinuplasty.
“We take a balloon and inflate it. We enter the pathway and dilate it. Opening up the sinuses about 4-5 millimeters is tremendous. It doesn’t look like much but a few millimeters makes a huge difference. It’s a dramatic difference,” said Dr. Bikhazi.
In traditional sinus surgery, the patient is under general anesthesia and normally it takes 5 days to recover. Sinuplasty dramatically reduces recovery time, pain meds, bleeding, and infection.
“Patients will resume normal activity today. I just say don’t blow your nose very heavily. That’s it. There’s no packing. No tissue removed. You don’t worry about side effects like you do after surgery.”
People who have polyps or scaring may not qualify for this procedure. The cost reduction of doing this procedure as an office visit is significant. Traditional sinus surgery with general anesthesia can be anywhere from $5,000-$20,000 versus sinuplasty is a few thousand dollars which is mainly covered by insurance.