Jerri Wall Yeargan had a chronic history of sinus infections and sinus headaches.
“It was sometimes debilitating,” she said. “I could never breathe thorough my nose, especially when I was lying down.”
She sought the help of Dr. Wade Gaeddert, a Hutchinson Clinic physician based in McPherson.
Gaeddert proposed a new surgical procedure to his clinic that could be done in his office on an outpatient basis.
The procedure, called balloon sinuplasty, involved inserting a tube into the sinus and inflating a small balloon to clear the sinus.
Gaeddert said this procedure, which results in less bleeding, pain and faster recovery time, replaces a traditional surgery during which a surgeon would cut into the sinus and remove material from the sinus.
During a traditional surgical procedure, a patient would need to be fully anesthetized. During balloon sinuplasty, a patient can be merely sedated, Gaeddert said.
Yeargan said the difference she has experienced has been remarkable.
“It is the best thing I have ever done,” she said. “Since the surgery I haven’t had sinus headaches. Before I felt horrible all of the time. Now I can breathe through my nose.”
Yeargan said she was a little nervous about the procedure, but said she had minimal pain, a little swelling and no bleeding. She urged other patients with chronic sinus problems to not be afraid to try the procedure
“I am happy I had it done,” she said.
The procedure is not for everyone, Gaeddert said. Mild sinus or allergy problems likely would not need surgery. The most severe sinus problems may need traditional surgery, he said.
If there is a down side to the procedure, it is that not all insurances may be willing to pay for the surgery. A patient may have to experience five to six sinus infections in a year before the insurance company will be willing to pay for the balloon sinuplasty, Gaeddert said.
Gaeddert is an otolaryngologist, specializing in ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgery.
He grew up in Inman and graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He has practiced his specialty for 17 years and lived in McPherson for 15 years.
For more information about balloon sinuplasty or to schedule an appoint with Gaeddert, call 620-245-0148.
Contact Cristina Janney at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @macsentinel