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Balloon Sinus Dilation (BASS)

Article by Jennifer Muscato, Messenger Post Media Freelancer

CANANDAIGUA — If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, medications or surgery may not be your only treatment options. An innovative office-based procedure offered by Lakeside ENT and Allergy provides immediate, long-lasting relief to qualified patients, with rapid recovery time, the business says.

Dr. Srinivas Kaza is one of three otolaryngologists at the 229 Parrish St. practice to perform balloon sinus dilation — a minimally-invasive, non-surgical procedure used to treat chronic or recurrent sinusitis.

“It’s become a great tool for helping patients who have chronic sinus disease or infections which don’t necessarily warrant a full-blown surgery,” Kaza said.

Lakeside ENT has offered the procedure since January 2014 and is the only ear, nose and throat specialist in the area to provide this option. Balloon sinus dilation can improve patients’ quality of life by significantly reducing their symptoms and the need for medication, said Kaza, who said the practice has received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the procedure.

Balloon sinus dilation“It’s really revolutionized the whole concept of treating chronic sinus infection patients,” said Kaza. “I think the whole model is changing because it’s gone so well with having the balloon sinus dilation procedure in the office. More and more patients, I think, will benefit from that and be spared from going through the surgical version of it, and the recovery and cost that comes with it.”

Unlike functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), balloon sinus dilation allows the patient to be awake under local anesthesia and can be performed in a medical office. The inflation of a small “balloon” in key areas gently restructures bones in the sinuses, promoting drainage and alleviating painful symptoms to restore air flow.

Brian Erb, one of Kaza’s patients who experienced chronic sinus headaches before having balloon sinus dilation about a year ago, said he experienced very little discomfort during the procedure, and that his symptoms have greatly decreased.

“I’d say 80 percent of my symptoms are gone,” said Erb. “Dr. Kaza is a godsend, and I would recommend him to anyone.”

Aside from routine check-ups, the vast majority of patients do not have to return to the office for touch-up or secondary procedures, Kaza said.

“Balloon sinus dilation is designed as a stand-alone procedure,” explained Kaza. “Because we’re not cutting tissue or removing anything. … It actually heals faster and there’s a greater probability of it staying open. … It doesn’t shrink back down and close off.”

The actual procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes, with an additional 30 to 40 minutes of preparation time to administer a local anesthetic. Patients have the option of using mild sedation and experience minimal discomfort, according to Kaza.

“The beauty of this is that they’re awake the entire time, so we talk to them and ask them as we’re going through it how they tolerate it,” he said. “I ask them, ‘Can you rate this on a scale of 1 to 10?’ And they all tolerate it.”

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