Tag Archives: triathlete

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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So I really hadn’t envisioned the details of this blog until several weeks ago, while I lay on the wet grass of transition area one at Ironman Augusta 70.3. For my colleagues who are unfamiliar with triathlons, the Ironman is a grueling, body-jarring event that begins with a 1.2-mile swim, follows with a 56-mile bike ride through the challenging hills of Augusta, Georgia and neighboring South Carolina, and concludes with a half marathon (13.1-mile run) back through the town of Augusta. Please don’t ask why… it’s just something that we do. And do. And do.

Break An Athlete’s Nose, Break Their Breathing

So there I was in transition after what was, for me, a very refreshing swim and a fairly peppy run towards the area where you get on the bike. You lay down briefly on the grass while a very friendly volunteer strips off the glove-fitting wetsuit. True punishment would follow: One of my fellow competitors inadvertently (I assume) stomped on my face, his foot smashing loudly against the bridge of my nose. It was the crack heard around the world (my world that is) and the blood started gushing. Somewhat dazed, and listening to a panicked volunteer telling me how she was going to get the doctor on call and not to move. My only instinct was to get to my bike before I would be disqualified for blood loss. Probably the sane thing to do would be to wait for help and put some ice on my nose for a few minutes; however, sanity and athletes don’t always go hand-in-hand. Sometimes, they would truly qualify as oxymorons.

I knew I had a bit of an issue when I got to my bike and mistakenly put on my running shoes, not remembering whether I had already completed the bike portion of the race–that should have been a warning. But no worries. After a quick shoe change and slapping on my helmet, off I went. Still bleeding profusely, but knowing (I am a nose doctor after all) that all bleeding eventually stops, I collected my thoughts somewhere around mile ten of the bike portion. The bleeding stopped and the task at hand became clearer. I then spent the next several hours riding and thinking about just how important it is that the nose and the oxygen it delivers work together to muscle athletes through a sporting event. I finished the bike and run portions, then proudly got photographed with my bloodied face and bloodied race outfit.

Why Athletes Love Sinus Treatments

For athletes, it's crucial to fix bump in nose for maximum airflow

To athletes, optimal breathing is essential to perform their best. The nose makes it all possible.

Several of my patients are athletes. I routinely hear them get excited about their increased energy after I perform nose and/or sinus surgery on them. Some of these athletes haven’t been able to breathe their entire life. For others, a nasal mishap, like the one that I now was experiencing firsthand, altered their ability to get enough oxygen to their body during exercise stress. In both cases, that newly found breath of air can make all of the difference. Many take breathing through their nose for granted. I will often see patients with nasal polyps almost totally obstructing their nose. However, these patients don’t notice the effect until just prior to their visit. Interestingly, once the polyps are gone and breathing returns to normal, they literally feel as though they have been given a new lease on life.

Sinus Treatments For Athletes: Fix the Crooked Nose

We offer several treatments for athletes who suffer from breathing issues or have a crooked nose. If you read balloon sinuplasty reviews, you will see how, in the right candidate, a fairly straightforward office procedure can eliminate severe congestion, pounding headaches, and annoying pressure. Other procedures, including repair of a deviated nasal septum, nasal fracture reduction, and turbinate surgery, are also used to improve airflow. Airflow is critical for athletes to perform their best.

Several patients who have heard about my misadventure ask me why I haven’t had that newly acquired nose dent fixed. Some have even asked why I don’t fix it myself (and yes, the thought has crossed my mind). I guess I just look at it as a battle scar, reminding me of a pretty fun day in Augusta.

Find solutions to your breathing issues. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Nachlas in Boca Raton: Call now at (561) 939-0909 or request an appointment.

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Nathan E. Nachlas, MD