Cedar Park Regional Medical Center Surgeons Offer New Procedure for Patients with Chronic Sinusitis
Cedar Park, TX (October 14, 2008) – Doctors now have a new way to perform sinus surgery. It's a procedure that can take away the pain and suffering of chronic sinusitis.
Michael Sutcliffe was a man looking for relief. He's been suffering with chronic sinusitis for years.
"I tried everything," he said. "But no matter what medicine I took, it didn’t get any better. I suffered from headaches and chronic sinus infections and I always felt stuffed up. And I’m a firefighter, so it was a real hassle for me. Fortunately Dr. Briggs suggested a new procedure that completely changed all that."
Russell Briggs, MD, and Karen Stierman, MD, both ear nose and throat specialists, are using a new technique at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center in the suburbs north of Austin. It's called the Acclarent Stratus MicroFlow Spacer.
Guided by CT scans, the doctor uses something equivalent to a car’s GPS system to place the catheter directly into the sinuses, avoiding sensitive areas around the eyes and brain. Then a plastic drug delivery system is inserted that has tiny porous holes. The doctor injects liquid steroids that deliver the drug and shrink the swelling.
"We're using a very small catheter that serves as a medicine delivery system by allowing a slow dilution of the medications into the sinus to fight the inflammation," Briggs said. "It is an easier procedure for patients and incredibly effective.”
The device is removed in the office two weeks later. Traditional surgery in the ethmoid sinuses involves using a shaver and removing tissue causing pain and sometimes scarring. The idea behind this approach is to deliver medicine precisely on target leaving the anatomy intact.
Sutcliffe is already enjoying what it’s like to breathe easier for a change and his headaches are now gone.
"I am enjoying a much better quality of life," he said. “I didn’t realize just how difficult it was to breathe until I had this new procedure and now my sinuses are wide open. No more headaches, no more continuous sinus infections, no more feeling like I’m all stopped up.”
The MicroFlow Spacer is new on the market and is being used exclusively at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. Dr’s Briggs and Stierman are two of only 50 doctors in the country using this technique and the only two in Travis/Williamson Counties. To be evaluated for this exciting new technology, please contact the office of Dr’s Briggs and Stierman at (512) 328-7722.
Sinusitis affects 39 million people each year, making it one of the most common health problems in the U.S. It is more prevalent than heart disease and asthma and has a greater impact on quality of life than chronic back pain or congestive heart failure. Sinusitis is also responsible for $8 billion in direct healthcare expenditures and a significant loss of workplace productivity.
The most frequently used treatments for chronic sinusitis are medical/pharmaceutical therapies and/or conventional sinus surgery. Medical/pharmaceutical therapies are often successful, but for more than 20% of patients, they are not adequate. In these cases, conventional sinus surgery is the patient's next hope for finding relief. However, conventional sinus surgery is a major operation that may require bone and tissue removal in order to open up blocked sinuses. For this or other clinical or personal reasons, approximately 900,000 patients that could benefit from surgery choose to forego it and live with their sinus condition.
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