May 10th, 2017 by Sepehr Oliaei, MD

Chronic sinusitis is a condition in which patients’ sinuses become swollen and inflamed, leading to difficulty breathing, facial pain or headache and loss of smell and taste. The condition is often misdiagnosed as allergies or a “never ending cold” and greatly impacts quality of life.

For patients suffering from long-term nasal congestion and chronic sinusitis, surgery is often a last resort option. Many have already tried over- the-counter nasal decongestants, antihistamines, humidifiers,  saline and steroidal nasal sprays, as well as multiple courses of antibiotics and steroids, with only temporary relief.

The goal of endoscopic surgery is to give patients the access to better combat this chronic debilitating disease. By opening sinus passageways, patient can receive topical medications in form of nasal rinses more readily into the sinuses in order to keep swelling and inflammation under control.

A new treatment, called PROPEL® Sinus Stent, involves a dissolvable, spring-like device inserted during endoscopic sinus surgery. It helps prop open the sinus passage after the surgery and gradually delivers anti-inflammatory medications directly into the sinus lining where it is needed most. This implant gives patients yet another tool for combating sinus disease in the crucial period immediately following endoscopic sinus surgery.

PROPEL helps keep the sinuses open and gives us another tool to reduce the likelihood of nasal polyps and inflammation from recurring, which are common in patients who suffer from chronic sinusitis. The dissolvable stent — which is modeled after drug-releasing cardiac stents — targets the sinuses with a sustained release of medication to help reduce inflammation and scarring during healing. Once the medication has been fully released, it dissolves away.

I have been using this FDA-approved sinus stent since early 2015 and have seen positive results in my patients — particularly those with severe chronic sinusitis associated with nasal polyps.

Have you had any personal experience with nasal polyp disease and/or Propel implants that you would like to share? (note: comments are publicly visible)

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