A gentleman named Jason contacted me and said he recently had sinus laser surgery from Dr. Harvey Paley, whose practice is in Beverly Hills, CA. He said flatly that this operation “changed my life". This gentleman has had 3 other conventional surgeries in the past 15 years during which time he had lost his sense of smell and sense of taste. Hearing about such a success after a sinus operation is rare in my experience. I personally have had two of them, and they basically didn’t work, since I continued to have sinus infections after both of them. In fact, I’ve heard of very few people who have had sinus surgery and who were pleased about the results over time.
So when someone is as enthusiastic about his operation as Jason is, it is time to listen, especially considering his background of sinus problems. The operational procedure is called Sinu-Clear, and it uses a laser as well as an endoscope. The laser equipment also provides a steady stream of salt water to flow through the nasal passageways while the operation is taking place. There is apparently very little bleeding during the procedure, since the laser cauterizes the tissue being operated on. Because of this there is no need for nasal packing, and this is a huge positive, as those of us who have gone through a conventional operation with a scalpel and had our noses packed can attest. For me it was just awful. The endoscope allows for good viewing by the surgeon, as the camera projects a picture of the nasal cavities being worked on onto a television screen.
This type of approach seems to make perfect sense. That is, using laser and endoscope technology to limit bleeding and see clearly what is being operated on. The first question I had is “why are there only a small handful of surgeons in the U. S. doing this operation?" It is not brand new, and in fact this laser sinus surgery was apparently pioneered by Dr. Daniel M. Schuman from Boca Raton, Florida over 10 years ago. Apparently Dr. Schuman has subsequently retired from his medical practice.
I asked this question to a gentleman from the company that produces the Sinu-Clear laser equipment, a company called PhotoMedex. He said there are many reasons for so few surgeons using the procedure, and most seem to boil down to the reluctance of people, in this case sinus surgeons, to change. In fact PhotoMedex is emphasizing different product lines of medical laser equipment, and the gentleman I spoke with was not optimistic about growth aspects for this procedure. To me this is certainly a shame. I personally have only spoken to one person, Jason, who has undergone the procedure, but he is extremely enthusiastic. I hope to speak to others and get more inputs. I can only say that when someone who has had 3 other operations tries sinus laser surgery and says he has finally regained his sense of smell again after 15 years, then this is worth taking note of, at the very least.
In addition to Dr. Paley in Beverly Hills, CA, I found out about two other otolaryngologists who perform the Sinu-Clear sinus laser operation. One is Dr. Vincent Pisciotta in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the other is Dr. Robert Bonham in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Bonham also performs another new operation called Sinuplasty, which is similar to angioplasty but for the sinus cavities. I understand there may be a few other surgeons in the country who routinely perform the Sinu-Clear operation, and I intend to continue to research this and get the word out. Results will be posted on the blog and forum at http://www.postnasaldrip.net. I only wish I had heard about this sinus laser surgery procedure years ago. It sounds like it might have been more effective and certainly less painful than the operations I did have. If you are considering being one of the 300,000 people who have sinus operations in the U. S. alone, this procedure is certainly something to know about and consider as an option, even if it were to require travel.
Walt Ballenberger is founder of http://www.postnasaldrip.net a resource web site for sinusitis sufferers like himself. For a free report entitled “Sinus Treatment Success Stories", visit http://www.postnasaldrip.net and click on the Free Report link. This resource can be of significant help to chronic sinus sufferers.