Tag Archives: balloon sinuplasty recovery

No matter where you are in life, it is an honor to be asked your opinion. It takes it to the next level to be asked to teach from your experience. It seemed like a basic task: Come to Florida Atlantic University and speak to a group of eager, budding, medical-school-bound students how I chose my profession and wound up doing what I’m doing today. Again, it seemed straightforward.

What Is Your “Little Red Arrow”?

They say life is all about the journey—medicine is no exception. I told this bright, aspiring crowd that everyone needs to find their “little red arrow”. The “arrow” metaphor is derived from a marketing funnel: Many options are at the top of the funnel, but over time they get whittled down to a single path, a single “red arrow” that points you in the right direction.

The field, the calling, the area of medicine that will become your passion will give you an excitement that no other field can. The wizard doesn’t choose the wand, the wand chooses the wizard (apologies to J.K. Rowling). That is where you point your arrow.

How I Found My Little Red Arrow (Total Nose Approach TM)

I described for the students my path, beginning in Baltimore from a “learned family of physicians” (“Stepbrother” reference for any Will Ferrell fans), continuing at Yale as a molecular biophysics major, heading to the University of Chicago Medical School, and then getting accepted to the Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery residency program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. I even had to admit my age, as I became chief resident in the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins the year after Ben Carson held the same position there in the Department of Neurosurgery. My connection with Ben ends there: Sorry, but I have no aspirations of running for president.

Dr Nathan Nachlas Speaks to Pre-Med Students at FAU about Total Nose Approach

Dr. Nathan Nachlas speaks to a bright young group of pre-med students at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

It is fortunate when luck meets the open mind. As I was searching for my little red arrow at Johns Hopkins, my professor, David Kennedy, brought back from a sabbatical in Austria a new technique for minimally invasive sinus surgery. This was to be the start of my little red arrow. Dr. Kennedy was the consummate rhinologist, and I had the pleasure of being one of his instructors at the first-ever United States Conference On Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, which was held at Johns Hopkins in 1985. Just as he concentrated solely on the inside workings of the nose, my subsequent training as a facial plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California, was with a wonderful surgeon, Dr. Wally Berman, whose internationally recognized forte was the outside of the nose. My formal training was thereby completed. In fact, technically I (and my co-chief resident that year) were the first surgeons in the world trained in both the outside cosmetic and reconstructive aspects of nasal surgery and this new, minimally invasive approach for internal nose and sinus issues.

How the above developed into my ”little red arrow” was fortuitous. Immediately after departing Beverly Hills and establishing my practice in Boca Raton (almost three decades ago), I received patient referrals to Floridians who had contacted  Johns Hopkins had referred them to me. It was not long until the first such referral asked about the outside of their nose as well. It seemed a natural fit for me. Why not do the total nose? I was hesitant at first. However, any doubt in my mind dissipated when I saw the patient’s elation during his post-operative visit. The Total Nose Approach TM was an industry-changing procedure that was here to stay. To see Total Nose Approach TM in action, watch this video.

Keeping Your Little Red Arrow Pointing In The Right Direction

It’s been nearly three decades since I first performed the Total Nose Approach TM procedure. Since that time, we have made refinements to minimally invasive sinus procedures, including balloon sinuplasty, as well as minimally invasive procedures for rhinoplasty. Performing the Total Nose Approach TM, enabling patients to look and feel their best, has become my “sub-sub-subspecialty” (otolaryngology-facial plastic surgery-rhinology-the Total Nose). My Total Nose Approach TM patients are extremely appreciative, some even declaring that these surgeries have been “life changing”—see their testimonials on this page. That validation is what keeps that little red arrow pointing in the right direction. Your goal, as I related to the eager and diverse group of FAU students—most of whom stayed awake for the entire lecture—is to connect with the “wand” that was intended for you, and to make your own unique mark on the world.

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Cassie Johnson was an outstanding high school soccer player.  As goalie, she was being recruited by many prestigious colleges.  When confronted with the possibility of having a procedure to relieve her chronic sinus suffering, her first question was, “How much school will I need to miss?”  Cassie’s second question, however, was more difficult: “When can I return to soccer?”

In today’s world, whether a high school or college student; an adult runner, biker, gym user, or triathlete, it seems like the dogging issue is, “When can I return to full activity?”  This is how balloon sinuplasty recovery comes into play; it’s a marvelous selling point of the new procedure.  Balloon sinuplasty recovery has revolutionized treatment for long-term sinus sufferers.  If you read balloon sinuplasty reviews online, and explore the experiences of the thousands who have undergone this often life-changing procedure, you will understand how and why this has been a blessing for patients.

Sinus Treatment: The Old Way (Removal)

Not long ago, whenever someone came into my office with a diseased sinus which failed to respond to medications, we removed it. I remember it well: I performed many of these procedures during my tenure at Johns Hopkins, both as a resident and as assistant chief of service at the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery.  After all, what better way to get rid of disease than to put it in a jar?

All of us have four sets of sinuses: the frontal sinuses in the forehead, which often produce sinus headaches; the ethmoid sinuses in the nose, which also produce pain and headaches; the maxillary sinuses in the cheek, where disease can be present as dental pain or facial pain; and the sphenoid sinuses, which are all the way in back and produce headaches towards the top or back of the head.

In addition to the pain, patients had often complained of congestion, stuffiness, drainage, and clogged ears.  Any of these sinuses could and previously would be surgically removed if they were chronically diseased and if the patients were suffering enough. So, to avoid putting the patient through a difficult and unpleasant surgery, we would repeatedly treat, then treat again, then treat some more.  An army of medications, including antibiotics, decongestants, antihistamines, steroid sprays, allergy shots were all provided to desperate patients.  We gave these treatments as long as the patients could tolerate them, because the cure was so much worse!  Taking out a sinus involved cuts below the lip, above the head, around the eyes, and sometimes all three!  These sinus surgeries were reserved for the sickest of the sick.  Then, finally, came a true revolution in the treatment of diseased sinuses: computer-assisted endoscopic sinus surgery

Sinus Treatment: The New Way (Balloon Sinuplasty)

Computer-assisted endoscopic sinus surgery eliminates the need for cuts below the lip or through the skin.  What used to be a week-long, inpatient procedure quickly transformed into a minimally-invasive endoscopic procedure, performed through the nostril most often at an outpatient center.  A procedure that took three to four hours now could be done in less than one–and without the uncomfortable packing!  What could be better?  However, that nagging issue about resuming exercise remained; could there be a way to decrease that frustrating three-week waiting period?

Enter balloon sinus dilation, one of the best sinus treatment options available.

Balloon Sinuplasty Recovery: Back On The Field Faster

The same technology developed by the makers of balloon catheters, used to open clogged heart arteries, is now utilized to relieve

Balloon Sinuplasty Recovery Woman Running

Athletes don’t want sinus headaches slowing them down. New sinus surgery gets them back in action.

sinus blockage.  The major difference between balloon sinuplasty and endoscopic sinus surgery is that no tissue is removed.  As a quick in-office procedure, balloon sinuplasty is performed without the need for general anesthesia.  A thin wire is guided into the sinus and a balloon is passed over the wire.  Throughout the process, it is inflated, deflated, and removed.  Each affected sinus is

treated and packing is not required.  The patient often feels better immediately in the chair!  And, as the proverbial proof is in the pudding, patients resume full activity within just days.  Read online balloon sinuplasty reviews: they seem almost too good to be true – but they are, and to date tens of thousands of sinus sufferers are thrilled.  It’s all about recovery, and balloon sinus recovery is really awesome!

Cassie was back on the soccer field in two days.  She went on to become a superstar in college, starting as a varsity goalie all four years, breathing well, feeling well, and living headache free.

Balloon Sinuplasty: Our Boca Raton Office’s Journey

Being at the forefront of any scientific or medical field is both exciting and a privilege.  I was fortunate enough to be the chief resident in the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1985, when endoscopic sinus surgery was introduced.  Subsequently, we transformed that revolutionary technique into computer-assisted endoscopic sinus surgery in the early ‘90s. We added meticulous computer guidance to the endoscope to ensure more complete correction of the sinus blockage and greatly improve patient safety.

More than a decade later, we began testing the idea of balloon sinus dilation, monitoring balloon sinuplasty recovery time. In June 2014, we were honored to perform the first in-office, computer-guided balloon sinus procedure in the United States.  That case, and hundreds that would follow, has proven to be the new revolution in creating beautifully functioning noses and sinuses.

Three decades of revolutionary and evolutionary advancement in the treatment of chronic sinus disease is now rewarded with the incredible experience of balloon sinuplasty recovery measured in days, not weeks.

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Nathan E. Nachlas, MD