Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Now Covering Balloon Sinuplasty
Effective immediately, Blue Cross Blue Shield will now cover Balloon Sinuplasty, a procedure that has now helped over 400,000 people find lasting relief from sinus pain and pressure. If you were previously unable to receive this procedure due to insurance issues, please give our office a call or conveniently schedule an appointment by clicking here.
Balloon Sinuplasty Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the advantages of the Balloon Sinuplasty over traditional sinus surgery?
Balloon Sinuplasty is less invasive than traditional surgery with minimal bleeding and low post-op pain. Most people can get back to normal activities and work quickly.
- What are the risks associated with Balloon Sinuplasty?
Because Balloon Sinuplasty is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery there is a low complication rate.
Does Balloon Sinuplasty work?
Clinical research confirms that Balloon Sinuplasty provides long-term relief from sinus symptoms by effectively opening blocked sinus passageways.
If your ears hurt during takeoff and landing you’re not alone. Many times a common cold or sinus infection can be to blame, however for some people they have what is known as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.
What is a Eustachian Tube?
The Eustachian tube is a small passageway that connects your throat to your middle ear. When you sneeze, swallow, or yawn, your eustachian tubes open. This keeps air pressure and fluid from building up inside your ear. But sometimes a Eustachian tube might get plugged. When this happens, sounds may be muffled and your ear may feel full. You may also have ear pain.
How Can Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Be Treated?
Symptoms of eustachian tube dysfunction usually go away without treatment. There are several ways you can temporarily help relieve the symptoms including:
- chewing gum
- or pinching your nostrils closed, and “blowing” with your mouth shut
For patients that suffer from chronic Eustachian tube dysfunction, there is a new FDA approved device that can help permanently restore the Eustachian tube to its normal function.
Dr. Lisa Liberatore has been successfully performing this minimally-invasive treatment, known as Eustachian Balloon Dilation, on people from all over the world for close to a decade.
How Does Eustachian Balloon Dilation Work?
Using a balloon dilation system similar to Balloon Sinuplasty, Dr. Liberatore will use a catheter (long, flexible tube) to insert a small balloon through your nose and into the Eustachian tube. When it is inflated, the balloon opens a pathway for mucus and air to flow through the tube. This simple procedure immediately can help the eustachian tube function properly.
What is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?
Ever had a feeling of fullness in your ears, similar to having waterlogged ears after coming out of the swimming pool?
This common phenomenon, known as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, affects many people around the world. However, it should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, it may cause other serious conditions that require more aggressive treatment options.
The Eustachian Tube
The Eustachian tube is a small tube which connects the middle ear to the upper throat/ back of the nose. This tube normally stays closed unless you yawn, swallow or chew. These actions allow air in and mucus out of the middle ear. Because the middle ear is usually filled with air, the function of the Eustachian tube is to balance air pressure on both sides of the eardrum and drain out mucus. This helps the eardrum to vibrate as required for you to hear properly.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)
Sometimes the Eustachian tube gets blocked, which disrupts normal eardrum function This creates what is known as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD).
ETD causes difficulty in hearing, pain, and a full sensation in the ears.
Symptoms of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Mild ETD may be left to cure over time. However, to ease the discomfort caused by ETD, some simple home remedies can treat it. In case it reoccurs, you will need to consult your doctor.
Some common Eustachian Tube Dysfunction symptoms include:
- Fullness in the ears
- Muffled hearing
- The sensation of plugged ears
- Tinnitus, also referred to as ringing in the ears
- Pain in either one or both ears
- Clicking or popping sounds
- A feeling of tickling or irritation
- Dizziness or loss of balance (in some cases)
What Causes Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?
As earlier mentioned, ETD is caused by a blockage or inflammation of the Eustachian Tubes.
Some common causes include:
- Common cold, sinusitis, or infections in the ear and throat – These conditions are characterized by an excessive formation of mucus which further blocks the Eustachian tube. Infections are the major causes of inflammation along these tubes.
- Allergies – Allergies that affect the nose lead to more mucus being produced. This also blocks the Eustachian tube.
- Altitude changes – This is common for people who fly in planes. When a plane descends, there tends to be more pressure nearer to the ground that affects the eardrums, causing pain. Usually, a simple chewing or yawning motion will balance the pressure and resolve ETD. Altitude changes also occur hiking or riding on an elevator.
- Glue Ear – Glue ear, also known as otitis media with effusion (OME), is normally associated with dulled hearing, a condition that is common among children. This is caused by a build-up of a glue-like fluid in the middle ear. Glue ear prevents air from flowing into the middle ear. However, it will clear on its own given some time.
- Enlarged Adenoids – These and other blockages are other known causes of ETD.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Treatment
On normal occasions, ETD will clear on its own with time. However, after cases of allergies, colds, or sinusitis, these symptoms may go for an entire week because it takes longer for mucus or inflammation to clear.
Some simple home remedies that work well to clear ETD include:
- Chewing or swallowing
- Blocking the nostrils and mouth then breathing out
- Using saline nasal sprays to clear out mucus
- In cases where it is caused by allergies, consider taking medications aimed at controlling allergies
- Antibiotics in case of infections
In case of severe ETD or recurring episodes, you will need to see a doctor for professional intervention.
Simple Steps to Stress Management
Our awareness of how we manifest stress can be physical, mental, emotional or behavioral. How do you react to stressors? Are you willing to think about changing your reaction?
What is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)?
ETD occurs when the Eustachian tube, an area extending from the middle of the ear to the nasopharynx, cannot open like it should. Some of the causes for ETD include sinus infections, nasal allergies, and common colds.
What are the symptoms of ETD?
Patients with ETD may experience symptoms anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. However, severe cases may last even longer. Symptoms include:
- Continuous feeling of clogged ears
- Hearing problems
- Impaired hearing
What are non-invasive treatments for ETD?
- Nasal sprays
- Decongestants and Antihistamines
- Cold medication and cough medicine (Guaifenesin)
What is Balloon Dilation of the Eustachian Tube?
For patients experiencing chronic cases of ETD, a more invasive surgery may be required. The physicians at Lexington ENT at Totum Health begin by inserting a small FDA approved catheter with a balloon at the tip into the Eustachian tube. The balloon is then inflated to physically open the Eustachian tube, and is then deflated and removed.
The procedure is commonly performed under general anesthesia and takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Physicians who have used the Balloon Dilation of the Eustachian Tube technique in adults suffering from severe ETD reported that the procedure is safe and causes a short-term and, perhaps, a long-term resolution of symptoms.
For more information please call our patient engagement professionals today at 212-288-2222!
With the cold weather quickly making its way in, it’s time to start bundling up again! During this season, it’s common for pesky colds to get in the way of our daily activities. Taking precautions such as frequently washing your hands, eating a well-balanced meal, and exercising can help keep colds away and while in some cases, we can quickly recover, there are times when a cold can turn into sinusitis.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis occurs when the air cavities around your nasal passages become inflamed. Common causes for sinusitis include common colds, allergies, and infections. If you are experiencing a simple or acute sinusitis, symptoms such as nasal congestion, sinus pressure or pain, headaches, fever, or a sore throat may occur. These cases usually last approximately 2-4 weeks and can be treated with:
- Nasal sprays
- Over-the-counter decongestant and antihistamines
- Warm compresses and hot beverages to help ease the pain
If symptoms get worse over time, it might be best for you to visit a doctor. Your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics, however, if symptoms last for more than 8 weeks, you could be diagnosed with chronic sinusitis.
How to Treat Chronic Sinusitis:
In cases where treatment and medication do not improve symptoms, your ENT doctor may recommend Balloon Sinuplasty Surgery. Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimal invasive procedure used to treat chronic sinusitis. This effective and FDA approved technology uses a small, flexible, sinus balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and widens the walls of the passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.
To learn more or see if you are a candidate for this procedure, contact a patient care coordinator today at 212-288-2222!
As we move closer to holiday months, a number of images come to mind. The crisp afternoon breeze, colorful leaves, pumpkin carving, and various holiday functions are some of the pluses we get to look forward to. However, while we not-so-patiently await these engagements, let’s also stay mindful of our health in these exciting moments.
You know that stuffy-feeling that seems to conveniently throw off our big weekend plans year after year? So do we. Nasal congestion and sinus pressure don’t discriminate. In fact, in 2014 the CDC reported 29.4 million adults have been diagnosed with sinusitis, and that is in the U.S. alone. Below we’ve included some tips to keep you on top of your health this fall, and allow you to breathe freely again.
When you’re stuck inside on that flurry December day, the heated indoor air dries out the membrane in your nose. When this occurs, mucus dries up, making it thicker and more likely to clog your sinuses. We suggest getting a cool-mist humidifier for your bedroom and letting it operate while you’re running the heat.This will create moisture and should help relieve the pain and pressure significantly.
Water can be used manipulated greatly to assist your sinus problems.There are a number of ways in which water can serve as a proponent for healthy living:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Consuming water will thin out your mucus build-up and flush other toxins out.
- Take a warm shower.
- This can be replicated by covering your face with a warm wash cloth and taking deep-relaxed breaths. The moisture should alleviate some pressure and open up spaces in your sinuses.
- Wash your hands.
- Viruses and bacteria are the most common causes of sinus infection. Keeping a good hygiene will do you and everyone else a favor, by preventing the spread of an infection.
Getting a good night’s rest can feel like labor when troubled with sinus pressure. Although, there are ways to counteract these problems and wake up feeling fresher.
- Keep your head propped up.
- Having your head rest at a slight upward angle will decrease blood flow pooling in the nose. When we lay flat, mucus tends to build-up and give us that stuffy morning feeling.
- Cut out the caffeine.
- Sorry coffee people, if you want to get rid of that sinus pressure you may have tone back on the caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant which provides energy, making it tougher to get the crucial sleep you need. We advise consuming caffeine no later than 2pm if you can’t fight the urge. Caffeine also dehydrates the body, making congestion worse. Switch to herbal teas as a substitute for your caffeine beverages.
If your problems do not subside within a week or so, it may be time to see a doctor. Severe congestion and sinus pain for more than a week could be a sign that you have a sinus infection that requires more aggressive treatment. Seeing an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) will surely give you the answers you need.
Spirox Latera Device to Help Nasal Breathing – it’s like a Breathe Rite Strip Inside the Nose!
Spirox Latera is a dissolvable implant that is placed inside the nasal tissue to strengthen the nasal walls. It really helps breathing. And an NFL player just had it done!
Totum Health has been chosen to be one of the first Ear, Nose and Throat medical groups to offer Spirox Latera. We’ll provide you with more information as we receive it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Spirox Announces First US Cases with Minimally Invasive Device for Lateral Cartilage Support in Patients with Nasal Valve Collapse, a Major Cause of Nasal Obstruction
MENLO PARK, Calif. – July 14, 2016 – SpiroxTM, Inc., a company committed to transforming treatment of nasal obstruction, today announced the first US cases with the LATERA Absorbable Nasal Implant following its FDA clearance. LATERA provides ENTs and facial plastic surgeons with a new minimally invasive option to support the upper and lower lateral nasal cartilages. Weak lateral cartilage can result in nasal valve collapse, an important, but often undiagnosed, issue affecting the majority of patients1 undergoing nasal obstruction procedures today.
“Nasal obstruction takes a significant toll on patient quality of life, but is often undertreated and underdiagnosed. If we don’t look for nasal valve collapse in these patients, we’re not addressing the entire problem. By providing an intuitive and effective way to support nasal lateral cartilage, LATERA has the potential to improve breathing for our patients,” said Dean Toriumi, MD, professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and past president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (AAFPRS).
Pablo Stolovitzky, MD, clinical assistant professor at Emory University and past chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), was among the first physicians to perform a LATERA case in the US. He noted, “LATERA is an important development for nasal obstruction patients when a standard procedure treating the septum and turbinates is often not enough. LATERA provides us with a minimally-invasive solution to support nasal lateral cartilage. I was able to place the implant on my first attempt, and I expect that the physician learning curve will be short.”
Prior to these US cases, a multi-center clinical study conducted in Germany showed that patients that received a LATERA implant alone experienced a reduction in nasal obstruction symptoms at one year, with results in the range of more invasive techniques and without a cosmetic downside.
“We have worked with physician leaders to find a solution to a major clinical need. The research and development behind the innovation is complex, but the technique is elegant and intuitive,” said Duke Rohlen, Spirox chief executive officer. “LATERA gives physicians a new option to support lateral cartilage, enabling a more complete means for addressing their patients’ nasal obstruction symptoms.”
About Nasal Airway Obstruction
Nasal airway obstruction can be caused by several factors, including septal deviation, enlarged turbinates, and weakened upper and/or lower lateral nasal wall cartilage leading to nasal valve collapse. The nasal valve contributes as much as 80 percent of total nasal airway resistance, and even minor constriction of this area results in a clinically significant impairment of nasal breathing for the patient.
Nasal valvular incompetence may equal or even exceed septal deviation as the prime cause of nasal airway obstruction.
LATERA is an absorbable polymer implant indicated for supporting the upper and lower lateral nasal cartilage. The minimally invasive technology is intuitive and can be delivered by ENTs or facial plastic surgeons. For a complete list of safety and effectiveness considerations reference the LATERA IFU at www.spiroxmed.com.
ABOUT SPIROX, INC.
Spirox is committed to improving the quality of life for patients suffering from nasal obstruction. The Menlo Park-based company’s first product – the LATERA Absorbable Nasal Implant – is designed to address one of the most common, yet underdiagnosed, causes of nasal obstruction today, nasal valve collapse caused by weakened lateral wall cartilage. For more information, please visit www.spiroxmed.com.
LATERA is available in the US only. Spirox and LATERA and its logos are trademarks of Spirox, Inc.
1. Bonaparte JP, Cheung L. Does the Cottle Maneuver predict outcomes after septal surgery? American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Annual Meeting (AAO-HNSF). 2015
2. Elwany S, Thabet H. Obstruction of the nasal valve. J Laryngol Otol. 1996 Mar; 110(3):221-4
3. Bloching MB. Disorders of the nasal valve area. GMS Curr Top Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007; 6:Doc07. Published online 2008 Mar 14
4. Constanstian MB, Clardy RB. The Relative Importance of Septal and Nasal Valvular Surgery in Correcting Airway Obstruction in Primary and Secondary Rhinoplasty. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 1995 Jul; 98(1): 47