Sinus problems can be a real pain—literally. Sinus issues can lead to increased frequency of getting other illnesses and can take rounds of antibiotics to clear up.
If you were watching News Center 16’s meteorologist Mike Hoffman coughing his way through his forecasts last week you know he wasn't feeling well. So this week Mike made the surgical leap to do something about his persistent sinus infections and underwent a safe, less invasive procedure called Baloon Sinuplasty. Maureen McFadden and photographer Don Schoenfeld went into the operating with Mike on Monday to see just how surgery went.
What you may not know is Mike has been fighting sinus infections for a long time, suffering through up to five or six each year.
“I would say that anytime I get any type of a cold it ends up in my sinuses and then draining into my throat and then that causes the problems.”
Mike says the frequent infections can make doing the weather more difficult, “(it’s) really annoying when you're on television and you're trying to talk to people.
On Monday, Mike checked into St. Joseph Regional Medical Center where Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Dr. David Campbell performed Balloon Sinuplasty.
Together, they discussed what they are both hoping this less invasive procedure will do.
“We're going to start with using the balloons, it's the new wave for sinus surgery. We're going to find your cheek sinus openings and we're going to stretch those open,” Dr. Campbell explained, “we want as easy way for that for any mucus or anything to drain out of there and not get stuck.”
While Dr. Campbell spelled out the medical side of the procedure, Mike expressed his hope for some relief, “I am hoping that I will have a lot fewer sinus infections and that every time I get sick I don't have this month long period of drainage into my throat.”
Mike is wheeled into surgery and put under general anesthetic and prepped.
In year's past Mike's sinuses would have been scrapped and packed, there would be a lot more pain and longer recovery. But with the Balloon Sinuplasty Mike was put under general anesthetic before the doctors went through his nose with a lighted guide wire to get to his sinuses.
“The beauty of this procedure is that it is very, very safe. The lighted guide wire that we use will not even puncture an egg yolk, that's how soft it is.” So when the balloon is inflated there is no removal of bone or tissue.
During the procedure, the surgeons turned off the lights in the operating room, to show Mike’s glowing face.
Dr. Campbell said, “a light within the cheek, we know we're in the sinus, we then slide our balloon over that guide wire, inflate the balloon and that causes the bone, the bone is very thin around there, it's almost like an eggshell. It causes a microfracture and thus a permanent remodeling of that opening.”
Dr. Campbell was able to treat Mike's cheek and forehead sinuses with the balloon, which can be done in the doctor's office for some patients, but for the sinuses between the eyes he uses a micro technique still entering through the nose.
He also took care of another problem causing Mike's sinus issues, saying “(Mike) had a sinus procedure but he also had his septum which is a partition in the nose straightened out so he could breathe better,”
According to the doctors, Mike’s surgery went according to plan, “I think he’ll come through it and feel very good fairly quickly. And compared to sinus surgery of the past, Dr. Campbell says this is much improved.
“The procedure today mostly involved balloon sinuplasty and it's the latest and greatest the way of sinus procedures,” says Dr. Campbell, “the beauty of this procedure is that it is very very safe.”
Hopefully in the future, Mike will be breathing much easier.
To contact David Campbell, M.D., Ear Nose & Throat of Michiana
Address: 100 West Navarre Street, South Bend, IN 46601