Jul 10, 2013 9:26 AM by Marissa Torres
A unique treatment could help patients with chronic sinus infections breathe easier.
It uses a tiny balloon and has less risk than the standard sinus surgery that more than 300,000 Americans undergo each year.
"I'd get a sinus infection and then I'd get antibiotics to take it away for a few weeks, then it would come back again, back again."
76 year old Harlene Palkuti says for years, she suffered from chronic sinus infections that left her feeling crumby.
"It makes you feel tired and it was bothersome and then you'd be coughing up this stuff and it was repulsive."
Palkuti says she tried medications, nasal sprays, saline solution, even homeopathic remedies, but nothing worked.
"Their sinuses aren't working. they have occlusion of the pathways and their nose isn't functioning normal. Symptomatically, they may have decreased sense of smell, headaches, particularly with changes in the weather."
Dr. Michael Abidin suggested a new treatment that's performed right in the office. It's called Balloon Sinuplasty, where doctors insert a small balloon into the sinuses.
"It blows up and literally fractures the bone and then it heals open, that's why it lasts."
The procedure has a 90 percent success rate and it works best for patients who suffer from chronic Sinusitis. That means each infection lasts at least 12 weeks.