A schnoz only an ENT could love

For the past 10 years or so… I (Michael) have had chronic sinusitis.  Almost like clockwork, twice a year I’d get a major flare up (allergy season) which would promptly turn into a full blown sinus infection.

Sometime in February of this year, we happened upon a site talking about a procedure called balloon sinus dilation ( or balloon sinuplasty ).  We knew we would be leaving the Vegas area toward the end of March, and we had a family visit at the very beginning of March, so we opted to start the process of finding a Dr to consult on this as soon as the family visit was over.

We ended up being very lucky with the scheduling!  I’d like to extend tremendous thanks to Dr. Ashley Sikand and the entire team at ENT Consultants of Nevada!  They were truly exceptional every step of the way.

March 9th – Initial consult, MRI, and review
Inspection and MRI review showed I had narrow sinus passages and fairly large inferior turbinate.  Turbinates are bony structures inside the nose covered by mucous membranes which act as radiators to provide warm moisture to the air entering the sinus.  This combination prevented proper draining of my sinus and lead to the easy triggering of infection due to the stagnate fluid in my sinus. A prime candidate for balloon enlargement and turbinate modification!
March 14th – The Procedure!
The procedure took about 45 minutes from sitting in the reclining chair to walking to the recovery room. I was monitored for another few minutes as paperwork was completed, then I was on my way home (with Lehnanne driving of course — I was on Ativan & Oxycodone, no driving for me!)
March 23rd – Follow-up
Visual inspection showed I had all but completely healed! All that remained was a small spot on my turbinate, but the good Dr said it would likely come lose in the following days.

A few notes about the recovery:

  • Pain during recovery was nearly non-existent.  Thus, I didn’t need to take any of the prescribed Oxycodone after the procedure.  This will, of course, vary based on how much modification you need to have performed and your tolerance of pain.  I did take a couple of Tylenol to knock down a slight headache for the first few days after the procedure.
  • There was sinus pressure in the lower sinus which felt a LOT like a sinus infection.  It took just over a week for this to subside (I called in on the 6th day to confirm this was normal — it was).
  • I was advised not to blow my nose for 4 days after the procedure.  I never knew how much I’d miss being able to blow my schnoz until this.  I did “cheat” a little by gently blowing with both nostrils open on day 3 — Oh sweet relief!
  • Perform the sinus rinses!  Since you can’t blow your nose, this will be the primary method of removing the… debris.. which forms/collects in your sinus during recovery.
  • Beware of Clindamycin!  It’s a broad spectrum antibiotic which I was prescribed to help minimize the risk of infection.  It is notorious for significant disruption of your intestinal biome! (another post on that to come)  I understand the reason for using it, but I’m still paying the price.

Have you noticed this post is not really photo/video laden so far?