This spring marked the first pain-free allergy season in five years for Glenn Israel. After years of suffering from chronic sinusitis and nasal polyposis, he finally found relief at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat.
Prior to coming to our practice, Glenn underwent two sinus procedures in 2002 and 2004, one of which included septoplasty. These surgeries did not relieve his condition and caused significant pain. He was unable to eat for three days following the procedures.
“The packing was miserable,” said Glenn. “I had two dreadful experiences with sinus surgery and I was in no hurry to try it again,” Glenn explained. In fact, I vowed to just live with the symptoms and never have another surgery.”
After hearing Glenn discuss his symptoms, a business associate of Glenn’s wife suggested that he schedule an appointment with William McClelland, M.D., F.A.C.S., at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat. Glenn was reluctant, but agreed to call.
“The patient explained that he had been experiencing facial pressure and nasal congestion and that the problem was progressively worsening,” said Dr. McClelland. ” He was getting temporary relief with a topical nasal spray and was receiving bi-weekly allergy injections, but remained symptomatic. He also had developed nasal polyps. I advised Mr. Israel to continue using the nasal spray and ordered a CT scan of the sinuses.”
The CT results revealed 90% opacification of the left maxillary sinus and 100% opacification of the right, with complete opacification of the ethmoid and frontal sinuses and bilateral mucosal thickening of the sphenoid sinuses. Dr. McClelland explained to Glenn that he could offer another sinus procedure that would be more effective and less traumatic than the surgery he had previously undergone. After careful consideration, Glenn agreed to proceed.
“There was something different about CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat and Dr. McClelland that I noticed the first time I met with him,” explained Glenn. “I felt comfortable and truly cared for by the doctor and the staff.”
To unblock the sinus outflow tracts, Dr. McClelland performed a revision biliateral functional endoscopic sinus surgery in October. The patient was discharged with instructions to begin an aggressive topical Decadron and Gentamycin in normal saline irrigation to the sinuses, and no nasal packing was required.
“It was like I hadn’t even had surgery,” Glenn said, adding that he went out to dinner on the way home from the hospital. At his first post-operative appointment, Dr. McClelland added Singulair to the Glenn’s daily treatment regimen and he continues to use the Decadron and Gentamycin rinse once a day, every day, to suppress his naturally hyperactive inflammatory response.
Glenn has since completed his post-operative treatment, but will continue to follow-up with Dr. McClelland every year. “I explained to the patient that it is critical to continue the use of the nasal irrigation on a regular basis to control the nasal polyposis,” said Dr. McClelland.
For sinus patients like Glenn, minimally traumatic surgical techniques and careful postoperative topical medical therapy is now considered a long-term cure of nasal polyps. We continue to find that polyp patients who did not respond well to prior surgical procedures often benefit from an evaluation and new procedures offered by one of our physicians.
Today, out of a scale of 1 to10, Glenn said he feels like a 15. He understands the importance of continuing Dr. McClelland’s recommended medical therapy. “I like Dr. McClelland, because he listens to me,” said Glenn, “so I’m listening to him. Now I’m having the best spring I’ve had in five years.”