• Nasal polyps surgery

Sinus Stent at Ingalls Helps Patient Breathe Easy

Beverly Dohman of Highland, Ind., wrestled with sinus issues for nearly a decade.

“Sleeping through the night was difficult,” she said. “I used to flip-flop from side to side just to breathe. I was miserable.”

Kleenex was her constant companion — and so was the thick, green mucous she had to clear out multiple times a day. “It literally made me sick at times,” she added. Beverly had nasal polyps, soft, non-cancerous growths on the lining of her nasal passages.

“Nasal polyps hang down like teardrops or grapes and result from chronic inflammation due to asthma, recurring infection, allergies, drug sensitivity or certain immune disorders,” explains Natan Scher, M.D., board-certified otolaryngologist and head/ neck surgeon on staff at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey.

Though the polyps themselves are painless, they can wreak havoc on the sinuses. Beverly knew that all too well. One option, sinus surgery, was something she shied away from. Earlier this year, though, her congestion was so bad, she decided surgical intervention was worth the risk. She did some online research and found Dr. Scher.

At her visit, Dr. Scher told Beverly she was a candidate for minimally invasive endoscopic sinus surgery enhanced by the implantation of a new steroid-releasing stent device in the sinuses. It’s called the Propel implant.

“It’s technology borrowed from cardiology, similar to angioplasty and stenting,” Dr. Scher explained. However, the Propel stent is different; it’s dissolvable.

“The Propel implant helps keep the sinuses open and dissolves in 30 to 45 days,” he said. “And while it’s dissolving, the stent bathes the swollen tissue in steroids.”

Its spring-like device is implanted at the source of the problem, right at the mucous membrane of the sinuses, and prevents closure and scarring of the sinuses. In addition to its obvious medical benefits, the implant makes the postoperative period smoother and more comfortable.

“Sinus surgery performed with the medicated Propel stent implant reduces inflammation and scarring in the sinuses,” Dr. Scher said, “resulting in a quicker recovery.”

In Beverly’s case, Dr. Scher performed outpatient endoscopic surgery in which he inserted a small tube with a magnifying lens or tiny camera (endoscope) into the nostrils and guided it into the sinus cavities. Using tiny instruments, he removed the polyps and cleared out the infection.

“The stent left beautifully open, clear sinus cavities,” he said.

Dr. Scher was among the first in the South Suburbs to use the Propel implant on sinus patients. And Beverly is thrilled with the results.

“It’s amazing,” Beverly adds. “I can finally sleep through the night. In fact, when I breathe, I can actually hear the air going through my nose. I knew my problem was bad but I didn’t realize just how bad it was until it was gone. I would absolutely recommend the Propel implant and Dr. Scher. I have more energy; I feel great.”

For more information about sinus surgery and treatments at Ingalls, call Ingalls Care Connection at 708.915.CARE (2273).

Nasal Polyps Are Nothing to Sneeze At

Nasal polyps are soft, painless, noncancerous growths on the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. Larger nasal polyps can block normal drainage from the sinuses. When too much fluid accumulates, it can become infected, causing thick, discolored drainage in the nose and throat.

Symptoms of nasal polyps include:

  • Nasal obstruction & congestion
  • Chronic infections
  • Runny nose & sneezing
  • Loss of smell and/or taste
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Itchy eyes & facial pain

Individuals with nasal polyps are at greater risk of developing chronic sinusitis, a condition in which the cavities around the sinuses become inflamed and swollen for several weeks, despite treatment. The first line of treatment for nasal polyps is coricosteroid spray, but issues can recur if the underlying irritation, allergy or infection isn’t controlled.

For individuals with large nasal polyps, endoscopic surgery is the most effective option. Endoscopic surgery removes the polyps that block the flow of fluids from the sinuses. Most often, these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with extremely successful outcomes.

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