Sinus Surgery Ends Decades Of Chronic Sinus Problems For One Married Couple

Congestion & headaches disappear; sleeping & blood pressure improve

After 20 years of nasal congestion, constant and severe post-nasal drip, antibiotics, nasal sprays and over-the-counter decongestants, 70-year-old Joe Helms and his wife Louise finally found lasting relief from their chronic sinus problems with sinus surgery at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat.

“We tell everyone” said Louise. “There’s no reason to be afraid to have this sinus surgery.” she says, adding, “It changed our lives.”

Joe and Louise say that having the sinus surgery has greatly improved their quality of life. They have no more nasal congestion, they sleep better, their medications have been decreased, and their headaches have gone away. However, they both understand that follow-up on their part, including the daily use of the nasal steroid spray, remains critically important to the success they have experienced.

In 2006, Louise Helms came to CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat suffering from facial pressure and headaches, hoarseness, and chronic congestion that obstructed her nasal breathing. Mrs. Helms had already made numerous trips to her primary care physician, who provided treatments that gave her temporary relief.

“My symptoms would go away during the time I was on the antibiotic or a steroid. But once I stopped taking the medication, they would return within a week or two. It was so frustrating,” Louise explained.

A CT scan performed at the office of CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat revealed chronic sinusitis and the need for surgery. Our ENT physician performed bilateral functional endoscopic sinus surgery to address the sinusitis, septoplasty to straighten her deviated septum, and a bilateral turbinate reduction to improve breathing through her nose.

“Before the sinus surgery, people warned me about getting a broken nose, black eyes and all sorts of awful pain, but none of that happened!” said Louise. She had no bruising or pain, only a small amount of drainage and temporary post-operative congestion.

After his wife’s recovery, Joe Helms then made an appointment for his chronic symptoms. “I saw how well Louise did with the surgery, that I hoped it could help me, too” he said. After a thorough examination and discussion of Joe’s history, including nasal congestion, post nasal drip, obstructed breathing, snoring and high blood pressure, we scheduled an in-office sinus CT for which revealed Joe’s severe nasal septal deviation, chronic thickening in the sinuses, enlarged turbinates, and bone spurs.

Joe had corrective surgery October 5, 2006. “I felt better right away” he said. “I had no drainage, no pain, and that aggravating post-nasal drip I had for 20 years was finally gone!”

After enduring up to 10 sinus infections a year, Joe has not had a recurrence since his surgery. His blood pressure has improved and he no longer uses prescription or over-the-counter decongestants. Joe also experienced a reduction in his snoring, and more restful sleep.

William A. McClelland, MD, FACS - Board Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT)
About the Author
Otolaryngologist (ENT) at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat, PA
Dr. McClelland is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT) as well as the Founding Partner of CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat, PA. His particular clinical interest is minimally invasive sinus surgery.
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