Chesapeake, Va. - After years of suffering with allergies and subsequent sinus infections, Debbie Richards needed relief.
'Pressure headaches, you can’t think clearly, your eyeballs feel like they’re heavy,” says Richards.
It came in the form of a procedure called sinus balloon dilation. It takes 30 minutes done in the office at Chesapeake Bay ENT in Virginia Beach.
“The procedure is all about taking a deflated balloon, inserting it into the sinus’ channel, identifying that channel and expanding the balloon and it out fractures microscopic bone and enlarges the opening,” says Dr. Scott Saffold.
“They spray numbing spray, they take gauze that has more numbing stuff and you feel nothing,” says Saffold.
When the bone heals, it forms its own stent and the sinuses are permanently enlarged making it easier for patients to breathe and easier for the sinuses to drain.
We caught up with Debbie 12 days later and she was all smiles.
“Now I can breathe out of both sides of my nose. Breathe, at the same time. My nose does not run,” says Debbie.
And she did not lose any time from work.
Before this procedure was available in the office, it would have involved a hospital visit and weeks of down time.
“Because were not cutting tissue, the procedure is far less traumatic. The incidence of scar tissue is dramatically reduced,” says Saffold.
The most recent study published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy showed that 98 percent of patients showed improved results a year post op.
But it didn`t take Debbie that long to finally get relief.
“It’s changed my life,” says Debbie.