A clinically proven, minimally invasive technology for treating chronic sinus inflammation has successfully been performed at Caldwell Memorial and the hospital's George M. Hancock Surgery Center since 2008. Due to the overwhelming success of the cases performed, Caldwell Memorial has been designated a Sinus Center of Excellence. The procedure, Balloon Sinuplasty™ by Acclarent™ , uses a small catheter and balloon to quickly open and expand blocked sinuses.
Sinusitis is one of the most common chronic health problems in the U.S., afflicting 37 million Americans each year. Patients suffer headaches, congestion, fatigue, and other symptoms. This condition significantly impacts an individual's physical, functional, and emotional quality of life.
Historically, sinusitis patients were limited to two treatment options: medical therapy such as antibiotics and topical nasal steroids, or convention sinus surgery such as Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS). Medical therapy can help alleviate symptoms for as many as 80% of patients but is inadequate for the rest. For them, sinus surgery is often the best option. However, FESS is a conventional surgery that requires bone and tissue removal in order to open blocked sinus passageways. In lieu of a desired treatment, approximately 900,000 patients each year elect to live with their painful sinus conditions.
Now there is an alternative in endoscopic sinus surgery with the Balloon Sinuplasty™ technology by Acclarent™. A small, flexible balloon catheter is placed 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.
Paul Warrick, MD, otolaryngologist at Piedmont Vista Ear, Nose, Throat, Allergy, Sleep Associates and member of the Active Medical Staff of Caldwell Memorial Hospital, has been performing this procedure at Caldwell Memorial and The George M. Hancock Surgery Center since coming to Caldwell County in 2008. Since he began utilizing the technology in 2005, Dr. Warrick has performed over 150 balloon dilations of the sinus cavities.
"The Balloon Sinuplasty™ device is a true advance in sinus care because in many cases it can be done without removing any tissue or bone," said Dr. Warrick. "This means faster recovery time and less post-procedure discomfort. In fact, many of my patients have been able to return to normal activities within 24 hours and have had a significant improvement in their symptoms."
The international, multi-center study CLEAR, published in the prestigious journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, confirmed at all time points 24 weeks, one-year, and two years earlier clinical validation that the Balloon Sinuplasty™ instruments are safe and effective for opening blocked sinuses. The CLEAR study reported:
- 91.6% functional patency rate at one-year; 70 patients (217 sinuses)
- No serious adverse events at two-years; 65 patients (195 sinuses)
- Symptom improvement for 85% of patients across the two-year-postsurgery period