New Allergy Therapy

September 29th, 2009

Are you an allergy sufferer?  Have you tried numerous medications that don’t seem to help?  Have you ever wanted to get allergy shots but didn’t want to go to the doctor’s office every week and wait for 20 minutes afterwards?  Well, we have the solution for you…

We are excited to offer our patients sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).  Similar to allergy shots, SLIT is intended to down regulate your body’s immune response to allergens, thereby decreasing your body’s allergic response during allergy season.  SLIT has been around for years and is now becoming more popular as it is recognized for being just as effective as allergy shots with the convenience of being able to administer the drops at home.  The drops are placed beneath the tongue each morning.  This repeated exposure to your allergic substances actually decreases the overall allergic response.  Even better, the administration of SLIT is not associated with the risk of a severe allergic response and therefore can be used at home!!  We prepare the dropper vials for you so that they can be taken home and used each morning.  SLIT is a great way to control your allergies and get your life back to normal.

Please schedule an appointment today to discuss SLIT and determine your candidacy.  You will require allergy testing which will be arranged though the office.  Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.

Introducing Latisse

April 27th, 2009

Latisse

We now have available Latisse, a new FDA approved prescription treatment used to help grow eyelashes, making them longer, thicker, and darker.  We currently have a limited time offer introducing this fantastic new product at $99 for a full application kit!!  Please call today or stop by for more information.

Am I a Candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty?

February 15th, 2009

Recently the FDA has approved a new technique for opening the sinus passages.  This technique involves inserting a small catheter through the normal sinus passage and then inflating a balloon which then widens the passage.  This technique is analogous to angioplasty which is used to open the major blood vessels around the heart.  The benefits of this minimally invasive procedure are that it reduces recovery time with reduced risk of bleeding and other possible complications.

Indications for balloon sinuplasty are similar as for other forms of sinus surgery.  Mainly, patients experiencing recurrent episodes of sinus infections requiring numerous courses of antibiotics and time off from work are choice candidates.  By widening the opening to the sinuses, we are finding a reduced number of infections along with a reduced severity of the infections, which means less time off from work or school.

Balloon sinuplasty does have some limitations.  Patients with severe sinus disease such as nasal polyps or fungal sinusitis will often require the more traditional endoscopic techniques to remove disease.  All of our physicians are trained and certified for use of balloon sinuplasty as well as traditional endoscopic techniques including use of image guidance technology.  Please feel free to schedule an appointment to discuss these options and your candidacy for surgery.  For more information about balloon sinuplasty, check out www.balloonsinuplasty.com.  Please contact us for more information or to leave any comments.

Sinus Surgery… Is it really that painful?

January 18th, 2009

Sinus

Sinus surgery has advanced dramatically over the years.  First off, advances in medical care and antibiotics have significantly reduced the number of patients requiring sinus surgery.  But our surgical techniques have also advanced providing fewer complications and less discomfort.

Traditionally sinus surgery was performed with a nasal speculum and instruments that allowed the surgeon to remove tissue and open the sinus with essentially a blind view.  Today we are using endoscopic techniques that allow us to visualize exactly where we are working which allows for effective surgery with a minimal complication rate.

Prior to the development of endoscopic techniques, surgeons controlled the bleeding by packing the nose which would then stay there for a week or longer.  Needless to say, this was  very uncomfortable for the patient and required extended time off from work.  Today were are able to control bleeding during the surgery using small cautery devices or dissolvable gels that have hemostatic properties.  This allows us to send patients home without any packing which provides for a much more comfortable experience.  A majority of our patients are able to return to regular activity and even work within several days.

Is it time for Ear Tubes?

December 12th, 2008

Ear Tubes

As we enter the winter season, it is very common for children to develop recurrent episodes of ear infections, and invariably, parents begin to ask themselves, “Is it time for ear tubes?”  There are several indications for placement of ear tubes, or ventilation tubes as we like to call them.

The first indication is for recurrent ear infections.  Children who experience recurrent ear infections have multiple ear infections with periods in between of normal healthy ears.  The indications for placement of ear tubes are for children who experience 7 or more infections in a given year, or 5 infections or more per year over a two year period.  Placement of ventilation tubes allows for fluid to drain rather than accumulate behind the ear drum.  The tubes also allow for treatment of the infections with ear drops rather than oral antibiotics which we all know can have long term consequences if used repeatedly.

The second indication is for children with persistent fluid within the middle ear (behind the ear drum).  After an ear infection, some children have fluid within the middle ear that will not drain on its own.  This is likely related to poor function of the eustachian tube (our natural drainage tube).  The recommendations for placement of ear tubes are for children who have had fluid within the middle ear for three months or longer.  Fluid within the middle ear causes a conductive type of hearing loss and also predisposes the child to developing acute infections.  Placement of the tube allows the fluid to drain and aerates the middle ear allowing the child’s hearing to return to its normal level.

The above guidelines are just that, they are recommendations provided to us based on research and papers written over many years.  As physicians, we use these guidelines to formulate recommendations for our patients.  Not every patient meets the above criteria before we recommend intervention with placement of ear tubes.  For example, if your child has experienced five ear infections this year and we are just entering the winter season, then we would certainly consider the option of placing tubes for that child.  We always take careful histories and perform complete exams before providing our recommendations.  Please feel free to contact us or schedule a visit if you have any further questions about surgery for your child’s ears.

How are the tonsils removed?

May 1st, 2008

Patient’s need to have their tonsils removed for a variety of reasons including recurrent infections and obstructive breathing patterns.  Tonsil surgery involves removing the tonsils from the back of the throat and is typically performed under general anesthesia with the patient completely asleep.  Over the years numerous techniques have evolved, each one focusing on safety and severity of pain.

The classic gold standard technique for removing tonsils is the “cold technique” which involves use of a scalpel.  This allows for effective removal of the tonsils, however, significant amounts of bleeding may be encountered.The introduction of electrocautery allowed for effective removal of the tonsils and control of any bleeding.  This “hot technique” uses a wand that delivers a focused current of electricity that not only cuts through tissue but also coagulates the blood vessels.  The downside to electrocautery is that it does deliver heat or thermal damage to surrounding tissue causing post-operative swelling and discomfort.

The newest technique that is now available for removing tonsils is termed coblation.  This advanced technology uses radiofrequency energy that is delivered to the tissue through a saline solution providing for effective removal of the tonsils and adenoids with control of bleeding vessels all with minimal thermal damage to surrounding tissue.  This technique allows for effective surgery with minimal post-operative pain and discomfort.  Please visit www.arthrocareent.com for more information

We are pleased to announce that the physicians of ENT Specialists are offering patients use of coblation technology for removal of tonsils and adenoids, as well as other airway surgery.  Please feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment to discuss these techniques and determine which is the right one for you.

Will you please roll over?

March 25th, 2008

InsertsMouth

Tired of losing sleep because someone next to you is snoring?  Everyone snores on occasion, but trying to sleep next to someone who snores on a continual basis can be a disturbing problem resulting in relationship stress.   Snoring may also be a sign of underlying obstructive sleep apnea which imposes some serious medical concerns such as hypertension, and increased risk of stroke and sudden cardiac death.

Our physicians are trained to evaluate each of our patients for safe and effective measures to help them find relief from their snoring.  Many of our patients benefit from the Pillar Procedure.  This office procedure involves placement of 3 Pillar implants into the soft palate at the back of the mouth as seen in the picture above.  This takes approximately 20 minutes to complete using local anesthesia.  Feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment for more information.

Secondhand Smoke Causes Ear Infections

January 28th, 2008

no-smoking

Second hand smoke is found to cause ear infections in children. Parents who smoke in their homes and cars are increasing their children’s risk of ear infections and associated problems such as long term hearing loss.

Blowing smoke away, opening a window, and similar measures are ineffective at reducing the risk. The best thing to do is quit and barring that to only smoke outside and away from children.