Health Beat: Stents for sinusitis

Published: Jan 27 2014 12:51:45 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 27 2014 05:50:31 PM EST
CHICAGO -

Thirty-one million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis. When medications fail, seeking relief can often lead to surgery. Now, there’s a new device that can help guarantee permanent results.

"I had constant pressure in my cheeks and forehead,” said Jillian Giertuga, a nurse who was suffering from chronic sinusitis and had to undergo a CAT scan.

"Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissues that line the air-filled cavities within the skull," said Dr. Jordan Pritikin, physician-director, Chicago Nasal & Sinus Center.

When steroids, decongestants and antibiotics fail, surgery becomes an option. 

"We are opening up this space to allow air to flow, allow mucus to drain, and to get rid of as much diseased tissue as possible," Pritikin said.

Up to 20 percent of nasal surgeries fail due to scarring or recurrent inflammation.  Now, Pritikin is using a stent that holds the sinuses open.

"It doesn't interfere with the drainage, doesn't interfere with airflow, but more importantly, it's coated with a steroid that slowly releases into the tissues to decrease inflammation," Pritikin said.

The stent is absorbed by the body. Patients find long-term relief.

"Things are much better. There is no pressure and no headaches," Giertuga said.

A half-million patients each year undergo surgery to treat sinusitis. Studies show the PROPEL implant has provided a 29 percent reduction in the need for postoperative interventions.

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DOWNLOAD and VIEW the full-length interview with Dr. Jordan Pritikin about a new device that can help people with chronic sinusitis