The Union Recorder


March 25, 2014

ORMC: Balloon Sinuplasty offered at ORMC

MILLEDGEVILLE — Chronic sinusitis affects more than 37 million Americans each year. Now Central Georgia residents can benefit from a sinusitis procedure at Oconee Regional Medical Center that is less invasive from the traditional procedure, which removes tissue and bone. This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive Balloon Sinuplasty™ system treats sinusitis by using a small catheter and balloon to quickly open and expand blocked sinuses. This allows for patients to recover and get back to their routines quicker in contrast to traditional sinus surgery.

“Medication (antibiotics and topical nasal steroids) for sinusitis controls the problem for about 80 percent of patients. For that other 20 percent, however, surgery is the solution,” said Dr. Rick Lockhart, an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist on staff at Oconee Regional Medical Center. “Balloon sinuplasty offers an effective alternative to the conventional surgical removal of tissue and bone, allowing patients to resume normal activities within 24 hours with significant relief from their symptoms.”

Symptoms of chronic sinus inflammation include:

  • headache
  • nasal congestion
  • fatigue
  • facial pain, pressure
  • difficulty breathing through nose
  • discharge of yellow or green mucus from nose
  • teeth pain
  • loss of sense of smell or taste
  • sore throat
  • bad breath

Chronic sinusitis can significantly impact an individual’s physical, functional and emotional quality of life. About 900,000 patients each year live with the painful and uncomfortable symptoms instead of following recommended treatments, including surgery.

Balloon Sinuplasty allows doctors to place a small, flexible balloon catheter through a nostril into the blocked sinus passageway. The balloon is then inflated to gently restructure and open the sinus passageway, restoring normal sinus drainage and function.

“Clinical studies have shown that two years after this procedure is performed patients are consistently satisfied with the result,” said Dr. Lockhart. “They’re free of symptoms, and have an improved quality of life.”

For more information on Balloon Sinuplasty call Dr. Lockhart at 478-452-6610.

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