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No Trip to the Operating Room Necessary with Balloon Sinuplasty

Chicago (Nov. 4, 2010) – Over the years, Hayley Rumbarger had suffered with the pain and congestion of chronic rhinosinusitis, dealing with the aching head and near-constant congestion that came with it. Having undergone two separate surgeries to alleviate the condition, she jumped at the opportunity to try a minimally invasive office procedure with placement of a medication-eluting balloon in her sinus, called balloon sinoplasty.

Despite ongoing scientific advances, sinusitis continues to affect nearly 31 million Americans each year. National health care expenditures typically exceed $150 million annually as patients try to treat the condition with over-the-counter and prescription medications. However, when these medicines fail, a trip to the operating room has previously been the only alternative.

Now, Michael Friedman, MD, chair of otolaryngology at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, has begun using much the same procedure that takes place in the OR, using balloon sinoplasty technology in the comfort of his office.

“This is a non-invasive procedure that delivers the correct dose of medicine to the affected sinuses over a two-week period,” Friedman said. “The patient is in and out, often within 30 minutes, and there’s no need for anesthesia.”

According to Rumbarger, the procedure was much less threatening than a full surgery and the results have lasted just as long for her as her previous surgeries. She was thankful not to have to be placed under anesthesia and grateful for the relief in headaches and congestion.

“The technique allows me to apply measured doses of steroids and antibacterial or antifungal agents to the diseased tissue in the sinuses,” Friedman said. “This way, the medication is delivered directly to the affected tissue, instead of having to be taken orally and then run out through the rest of the patient’s body.”

Close to three months later, and Rumbarger is still showing no sign of the disease returning. She said she knows this may not be a permanent cure, but she’ll take any relief outside the operating room that she is able to get.

Friedman recently presented on the new technique at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgeons in Boston.

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center is a 408-bed hospital in Chicago with a Level I trauma center and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the highest designations awarded by the state of Illinois. It offers comprehensive inpatient services, including medical, surgical, obstetrics and pediatric care, as well as a full breadth of outpatient services. A recipient of numerous awards for quality and clinical excellence, Illinois Masonic was ranked one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals in 2009 by Thomson Reuters, as well as being named a recipient of the organization’s Everest Award for National Benchmarks. In 2008, the hospital achieved Magnet designation for excellence and quality in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program. Illinois Masonic is part of Advocate Health Care, a 2009 Thomson Reuters Top 10 U.S. health care system for quality and clinical performance and the largest provider of health care services in Illinois. For more information on Illinois Masonic, visit

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