EVANS, Ga. — For millions of people, occasional sinus congestion is an unpleasant fact of life – but for some, that misery can feel like it’s never-ending.
“Lot of drainage, pressure, sneezing,” is how Augusta resident Jeannie Alasadi described her sinus symptoms.
Alasadi visited Dr. Andrew Wells, an Evans-based ear, nose and throat doctor. He performed a relatively new procedure called balloon siunplasty on Alasadi, who has been frequenting the doctors’ officer with sinus problems for more than six years.
The endoscopic procedure has only been around for a few years. It’s less invasive than the typical sinus surgery.
“Over the last two to three years, we have been able to move from the operating room into the office, and that’s where we’ve really been able to achieve a lot of convenience for the patient,” said Dr. Wells.
Alasadi stays awake for the entire procedure, which takes less than half an hour. She receives shots of numbing medicine – similar to the Novocaine you get at the dentist – inside her nasal cavity.
Dr. Wells then inserts the balloon sinus device — which is shaped to match the Allisati’s sinus opening — and inflates it to reshape the nasal cavity.
“Because the opening is made of those paper thin bones, it will stay open, those bones will heal where we move them,” said Dr. Wells.
Recovery lasts about 24 hours.
“A lot of patients have come back and said they have felt relief that same day,” said Dr. Wells.
Alasadi is one of those patients. One week after the surgery, she says she feels like a new person.
“Before, I would stay up like 2 or 3 hours just sneezing constantly, blowing my nose, and just congested where i couldn’t even breathe,” Alasadi said. “But now I can sleep all night.”
Because the procedure is done in office, it typically only costs the co-pay for an office visit.
Afterwards, patients can take basic anti-inflammatory medication for the pain.
Dr. Andrew Wells is with Augusta ENT at 340 N Belair Rd in Evans. The phone number is (706) 868-5676.