SOURCE: Saint Joseph Hospital

Saint Joseph Hospital

March 18, 2010 08:00 ET

New, Minimally Invasive Treatment Provides Relief From Chronic Sinus, Allergy Problems

Chicago Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor Jordan Pritikin, M.D., Saint Joseph Hospital, Offers New Approach, Great Results

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - March 18, 2010) -  For years, Michelle Gerhardt suffered from the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Antibiotics would help with the infections, but they always came back.

Gerhardt visited Jordan Pritikin, M.D., chief of the Section of Otolaryngology, Saint Joseph Hospital, for help. Her examination revealed a deviated septum, and her CT scan revealed narrowing of the sinus openings as well as fluid in the sinuses in the cheeks. After discussing her symptoms and going through various treatment options, Dr. Pritikin recommended balloon sinuplasty.

"Balloon sinuplasty is appropriate for patients with recurring sinus infections and for patients with sinus-pressure headaches," said Dr. Pritikin. "The advantages include minimal trauma to the tissue, decreased risk of injury and bleeding, minimal discomfort, and a shortened recovery time."

The procedure involves using flexible, thin balloon catheters to enlarge sinus openings. In some cases, Dr. Pritikin also uses a special device that inflates with medication inside the sinus. The medication slowly releases from the balloon, bathing the sinus lining and decreasing inflammation. The device, which patients do not feel while in the sinus, is removed 14-21 days after surgery.

On a Friday, Gerhardt arrived at Saint Joseph Hospital for balloon sinuplasty. The procedure took about 30 minutes and was done in an operating room using anesthesia. "It was probably the fastest decision I've ever made... short recovery time, not as invasive. A no brainer," said Gerhardt.

Dr. Pritikin has been performing balloon sinuplasty since 2006. He was one of the first physicians in the United States and Chicago to use the technology, and he has taught the technique to hundreds of doctors across the country.

Worldwide, more than 80,000 patients have been treated with balloon sinuplasty. No serious complications have been reported, and two-year follow-up studies have shown better than a 90 percent success rate with balloon sinuplasty.

Read more success stories from Saint Joseph Hospital sinusitis patients.

Founded in 1868, Saint Joseph Hospital has a long tradition of providing care to the community. The 335-bed full-service hospital on Chicago's north side has more than 550 physicians on staff, representing more than 35 specialties. 

For 2010, the hospital received the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™ Award, ranking it among the top 5 percent of U.S. hospitals for overall clinical quality, as well as the Pulmonary Care HealthGrades Specialty Excellence Award, ranking it among the top 10 percent of U.S. hospitals for lung care. For information, visit