(WTNH) -- A recent study shows that a breakthrough procedure for chronic sinus sufferers has a pretty high success rate.
The sinus balloon is the latest procedure offered for serious sinus sufferers and now it's done in office.
"We're working above the lip and under the teeth," said Dr. Steven Levine.
Ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Levine says it's a game changer.
"Just like we use balloons to dialate vessels in the heart, this is adapting the same technology," Dr. Levine said. "When those sinuses become chronically infected, they are actually scarred and closed off and this balloon allows us to dialate that scarred closed off region in a minimally invasive approach."
It takes about an hour from start to finish.
"We now can see the opening into the maxillary sinus osteum," Dr. Levine said, "advance the balloon into the osteum, blow that balloon up."
The sinus opening is now twice the size, before the balloon was applied.
"You're numb like you're going to the dentist," said patient Kathy Perham.
Exhausting all other alternatives, Perham had it done this past June.
"I had a lot of infections," Perham said. "I always had headaches, I had post nasal drip. I had a hard time sleeping."
That changed instantly after the minimally invasive treatment.
"He said to me breathe and I started breathing, through my nose instantly," said Perham.
Dr. Levine says a patient's symptoms determines the ideal candidate.
"Post nasal drip, headache, sinus congestion, recurrent infections, a history of taking antibiotics several times a year," said Dr. Levine.
A recent study which Dr. Levine was lead investigator concluded a high success rate among 'in office' patients.
"85 percent success at three months and the same at six months and the same in a year," said Dr. Levine, "so the results we expect should be a lasting result and not a temporary result."
The 15 percent for which it didn't work out, had to undergo the more extensive surgery done in the hospital.
The sinus balloon is covered by most insurance plans.
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