BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A new dissolvable, drug-coated stent is helping patients with chronic sinusitis breathe easier.
SIGNS OF CHRONIC SINUSITIS
- Facial pressure
- Nasal blockage
- Post-nasal drip
- Decreased sense of smell
- Blowing mucus out of the nose (of an unusual color)
- Problems present for more than three months
- No relief from medical therapy
“You have the headaches, but then in my cheek area there’s a lot of pain, not to mention the difficulty breathing,” said Charlett Adams, who has suffered from chronic sinusitis pain for several years.
Sometimes, Adams' sinus infections cause her asthma to flare up, resulting in a visit to the emergency room.
Adams tried several treatments searching for relief, including sinus surgery. She also spent more than a year receiving antibiotics through an IV. Each trial brought her only temporary relief.
“With my condition, it calms it down, but it doesn’t really completely get rid of it,” said Adams.
A referral to Dr. Christian Hall, a rhinologist at Baton Rouge General’s Sinus and Nasal Specialists of Louisiana, changed that.
“Charlett had a particularly challenging form. It is a chronic medical condition,” explained Dr. Hall. "There are some things you can do medically to try to reverse the symptoms, but they’re in no way as effective as surgery.”
Dr. Hall took the sinus surgery a step further, implanting PROPEL, an innovative FDA-approved stent, at the time of surgery.
“It has a spring-like effect and it opens and makes full contact with the surrounding tissue and releases anti-inflammatory medication into the surrounding environment and then dissolves into the body,” Dr. Hall said. “The PROPEL stent really helps give the best possible opportunity to create that widely open sinus and prevent scarring.”
Statistics estimate about 30 million Americans, or one in eight adults, suffer with chronic sinusitis.
“The prevalence is significant and the quality of life is actually pretty significant as well. It’s estimated to be around the same as lower back pain and even congestive heart failure,” said Dr. Hall.
“The thing that really impressed me about not only the PROPEL, he wasn’t just concerned about improving my sinus condition, but also improving my quality of life,” said Adams. “For me it was life-changing. I haven’t had to have any oral steroids since having my surgery, which is amazing for me.”