12 years of helping sinus sufferers - is it worth it?
Self evaluation in medicine is always a difficult and critical facet of our profession. Are we helping people? How do we measure that? Does the benefit of any particular therapy we provide justify the expense of the therapy?
These are all difficult questions and ones that are answered only after careful analysis over a prolonged period of time. There are short term benefits, long term benefits, and permanent benefits. There are anecdotal stories of patient improvements and there are rigorous clinical studies resulting in what is commonly referred to as ‘Evidence Based Medicine’.
Evidence-Based Medicine rules the field these days. Understandably, in today’s climate of getting the best product for the health care dollar invested, everyone from physicians to insurers to businesses to the individual recipient of health care services wants to make sure that they are getting good value for their health care dollar.
Balloon sinuplasty has been a great success story since its inception. Quickly, sinus surgeons realized the potential of a minimally invasive in-office procedure for sinus sufferers. Early on the anecdotal stories spread. The earliest clinical studies documented that by placing a small balloon through the nostril into a blocked sinus, and then subsequently inflating, deflating, and removing that balloon, the surgeon could effectively expand the opening to that sinus. These studies were first reported as immediate results, short term results, and then one year and longer results. Shortly thereafter were studies that matched symptoms with the physical finding of successful dilation of the affected sinus or sinuses. In fact, these patients received tremendous relief. Balloon sinuplasty can’t eliminate allergies that contributed to blocked sinuses, but they increase the openings to the sinuses so that the patients are less susceptible to completely closing off their sinuses.
Balloon sinuplasty was introduced in 2005 and has become one of the most widely performed procedures by sinus surgeons. It is minimally invasive, can be performed in the office, and has provided quick and long lasting relief to tens of thousands who have received it. It is especially designed for sinus sufferers in whom medical management has failed to relieve the sometimes devastating symptoms associated with blocked sinuses - congestion, pressure, headaches, recurrent infections, drainage, etc.
There have been hundreds of studies that have shown that balloon sinuplasty is safe, well tolerated, and long lasting. Balloon sinuplasty cost is high as is typical with health care services requiring multiple pieces of advanced technology to perform. For balloon sinuplasty, the cost of the single use balloon, the monitor, the computer guidance system, and the office operating environment, make the cost similar or less than endoscopic sinus surgery performed in a surgicenter. It is still significantly less than sinus surgery performed in the hospital setting. Studies have shown balloon sinus dilation provides equivalent results to traditional sinus surgery for the properly selected patient.
Why do most of our patients who are offered in-office balloon sinuplasty prefer this over hospital or surgicenter procedures? The most common reasons are its inherent minimally invasive nature, the comfortable in office setting, and the typically quick recovery. The fact that the cost is often significantly less than more invasive alternatives is also a welcome feature.
Steve Schild explains how Balloon Sinuplasty changed his quality of life
To contact Dr. Nachlas for a consultation, click above or contact our Director of Patient Relations Sandy Friedman at (561) 939-0909.