Procedure in Fort Myers helps patients deal with chronic sinusitis

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Melanie Brookshire (Photo via Channing Frampton/WINK)

A local treatment option can help people cope with and treat chronic sinusitis as allergy season gets underway.

Chronic sinusitis has been found to be more painful and debilitating than heart failure and chronic back pain, according to a study done at Cornell University.

Sinus infections cause 73 million lost days of work each year in the United States, according to the study.

Melanie Brookshire underwent multiple surgeries, but said she still struggled with chronic sinus problems.

“It was also affecting my breathing and quality of sleep,” Brookshire said. “I would snore very loudly.”

Dr. Justin Casey, an ear, nose and throat surgeon in Fort Myers, uses an FDA approved device called Propel. It’s similar to a stent a cardiologist would use in a patient’s arteries.

Casey said the procedure —a stent is put into a person’s sinuses, and when it expands, air can flow easier— is not only straightforward, but also effective.

“It’s a very simple concept, but it actually makes a huge difference for a lot of patients,” Casey said.

The technique is used when traditional sinus surgery and other treatments, such as steroids, don’t work.

For Brookshire, she said she’s pleased with the results from the procedure.

“The quality of sleep has improved, and that’s improved a lot of areas of my life,” Brookshire said.

Potential risks include localized infection, nasal burning or headaches.

Casey said the cost of the device is included as part of the surgical procedure used to put in place. However, insurance coverage depends on the provider.

For more information, visit the Sinus Center of Southwest Florida’s website.

Click here for more information on sinusitis and Propel.

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