New Center of Excellence at Archbold

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New Minimally Invasive Sinus Program at Archbold

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Archbold Memorial Hospital’s Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy Center isn’t new.  But they now have a new distinction: Minimally Inv.

The distinction specifically pertains to the minimally invasive procedure of balloon sinuplasty by Acclarent™, an option that can be used for chronic sinusitis patients who aren’t responding well to medications and are seeking relief from persistent, uncomfortable and painful sinusitis.  The procedure is used to open blocked sinuses, relieving symptoms and allowing the patient to breathe easier.

Archbold otolaryngologist John S. Gilbert, D.O., treats diseases of the ear, nose, throat, head and neck, and performs facial, plastic and reconstructive surgery (including balloon sinuplasty) at the Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy Center.

sinusitis; however, traditional sinus surgeries remain available in situations where balloon sinuplasty is not recommended.”


 Balloon Sinuplasty
Balloon sinuplasty: John Gilbert, DO, prepares to perform a balloon sinuplasty on a patient while Megan Rich, RN, assists with balloon inflation. The procedure, often performed at the Archbold Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy Center, is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional sinus surgery. The procedure is used to open blocked sinuses, relieving symptoms and allowing the patient to breathe easier.


According to Gilbert, Balloon Sinuplasty allows a sinus cavity to be opened by inflating a balloon in the cavity. 

Using a small camera in the nose, a catheter is placed at the opening of the blocked sinus. A lighted guide wire is then passed into the natural sinus opening. The sinus being treated is illuminated by the guide wire, which confirms the correct position. The surgeon then passes a small balloon along the guide wire positioned in the blocked sinus passageway. The balloon is inflated and the sinus opening is dilated.  The sinus can then be washed out if needed and the balloon is removed.

Typically performed at an outpatient surgery center, the patient is put under general anesthesia during the procedure—which may take from 15 to 30 minutes depending on the number of sinuses that are being treated.  Gilbert suggests that for a select group of patients, the procedure may also be performed under local anesthesia in his office.

“The procedure has proven to be very effective and provides great relief for patients,” said Gilbert. “In greater than 90% of people, the sinuses stay open and provide long term relief. Patients experience greatly reduced frequency of sinus infections and reduced symptoms from inflamed sinuses.”

Surgical treatment with Balloon Sinuplasty offers patients benefits such as minimal discomfort, no post-operative packing and no facial bruising. The minimally invasive procedure allows many patients to return to normal daily activities within 24 hours. 

More than 37 million Americans suffer from headaches, congestion, fatigue and other symptoms of sinusitis each year.

Sinusitis, also called rhinosinusitis, occurs when the lining of the sinuses—air spaces behind the bones of the upper face, between the eyes and behind the forehead, nose and cheeks— become inflamed, swollen and infected.  Symptoms of sinusitis are uncomfortable and may significantly affect people physically, functionally and emotionally. 

A wide range of common symptoms for sinusitis include facial pain, pressure, congestion or fullness, difficulty breathing through the nose, discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose, teeth pain, loss of the sense of smell or taste, headache, fatigue, sore throat and even bad breath.

There are two main types of sinusitis: acute and chronic. Acute sinusitis usually lasts less than four weeks or occurs no more than three times per year. Acute sinusitis often follows a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract, but allergens or pollutants may also trigger the infection. Often, the resulting symptoms, such as nasal pressure, nasal congestion, a "runny nose," and fever, run their course in a few days. Your doctor may recommend treating these symptoms with medication, but if symptoms persist, acute sinusitis may develop.

Most cases of sinusitis are acute (or sudden onset); however, if the condition occurs frequently (three to four times per year) or lasts three months or more, you may have chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis refers to a condition that lasts at least 12 weeks despite being treated. Chronic sinusitis is a more persistent problem that requires a specific treatment approach.

Sinusitis is typically first treated with medication. However, for patients who don’t have a positive response to treatment with antibiotics, steroids or decongestants, sinuplasty may be recommended.

“The Archbold Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy Center is the only Sinus Center of Excellence in our region offering balloon sinuplasty technology,” said Gilbert. “We are pleased to offer this innovative treatment option for our patients that result in better outcome, including less discomfort and down-time.”Dr. Gilbert will present a free community lecture on sinus treatment options including balloon sinuplasty on March 1, 2012. The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. and be held in the Williams Auditorium at Archbold Hospital. Light dinner will be served. Pre-registration is requested, call 229-227-5140 or click here to register online.