What is endoscopic sinus surgery?

Endoscopic surgery 

While there are many different surgeries performed to help clear sinus issues, the nasal endoscopic surgery is the least invasive of all the options. What does endoscopic mean? It means the doctor is using an endoscope for surgery. An endoscope is a medical device inserted into a small body cavity, like the nose or mouth, with a small camera at the end. The camera serves as a set of eyes for the medical staff to see what’s going on in the areas under question that are otherwise difficult to see. 

Endoscopic surgery is not exclusive to ear-nose-throat treatment, but also used for diagnoses and treatments elsewhere throughout the body. For the sake of this post, we will be discussing nasal endoscopic surgery as it refers to sinus issues. 

Who qualifies 

If your sinus issues are beyond treatment with over-the-counter or prescribed medications, nasal endoscopy surgery is often the next step. However, this is a decision made by a doctor, not an order from a patient. So, it’s important to go through the process of diagnosis and other more informal treatments before moving forward with nasal endoscopic surgery. 

People who qualify for this procedure often have a variety of symptoms, if they don’t already have a diagnosis. Some symptoms within the nose and nasal cavity are:

  • Blockage 
  • Polyps
  • Tumors
  • Bleeding 
  • Infection
  • Congestion 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Loss of smell 

A doctor at Breathe Clear Institute does not suggest this procedure lightly, so medical history and on-going symptoms are best to share when making an appointment. Whether it’s a new patient or coming to us from another clinic, we can handle any sinus case and possible nasal endoscopic procedure. 

The benefits  

The objective of this procedure is to correct or improve whatever symptoms a patient is experiencing. Nasal endoscopic surgery benefits include:

  • Low pain levels 
  • Few to no incisions 
  • Minimal scarring
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Low risk of infection
  • Short procedure, minimal hospital stay
  • Quick recovery period

The long-term benefits certainly outweigh continuing symptoms. But, proper aftercare is required for great and long-lasting results. What are the best practices for post-operative recovery and aftercare? Here are some suggestions:

  • Avoid blowing your nose or other straining facial movements 
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or NSAIDs within reason
  • Nasal saline spray or prescribed steroid nasal sprays
  • Safe nasal cleansing methods of irrigation

If you are experiencing negative symptoms like constant bleeding, high temperatures, high levels of pain and irritation, noticeable drainage, headache, neck stiffness, or vision impairment, it’s important to notify your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room. 

We strive to have no negative reactions to surgery, but it is also the duty of the patient to keep the nasal passages clean without irritating the surgical spot and surrounding areas. Any questions about aftercare can be directed to any member of our staff who is just a quick call away. 

Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If you’ve been diagnosed with sinus issues that require endoscopic surgery, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experts and dedicated surgeons have successfully performed this procedure many times with positive results. 

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What are the long-term effects of getting a nose job? (RE: rhinoplasty)

A nose job/rhinoplasty 

There are a myriad of reasons that a person would consider or need to have a rhinoplasty, commonly known as a “nose job.” If you have a deviated septum, sinus issues, or want to change the appearance of your nose, the rhinoplasty is a well-known and popular surgery. 

Some patients come to us with a severe nasal fracture from contact sports or a substantial fall which is also treated with a rhinoplasty and is quite common. Whatever the reason might be, the Breathe Clear Institute and its staff will work with you to solve functionality and aesthetic issues from damage to the nose and its cavities. 

Now, what does a rhinoplasty surgery involve? Depending on the reason for the surgery, there may be different and more complicated steps along the way in comparison to a routine nose job. A simple rhinoplasty has six major steps:

  1. Administration of anesthesia
  2. Incision made at the surgical site
  3. Reshaping of the nose structure 
  4. Correction of deviated septum (if applicable)
  5. Closure of incision 
  6. Aftercare and healing process
  7. See and enjoy the results 

There are risks involved with a rhinoplasty. First, it’s important to do your research on plastic surgeons, if you’re interested in the aesthetic results of a surgical procedure. Rhinoplasty is one of our more common procedures and we understand it from all angles – we want you to breathe well and look good. 

Doctors always like to tell patients to manage expectations and know that results may vary. There are no guarantees that your nose will look the same, dramatically different, better or worse. 

What are the risks and long-term effects of a nose job

While we never plan to have things go wrong in surgery or post-surgery, there is always a chance that something unplanned happens. Like any surgery, there are many risks involved in getting a nose job. Some risks include:

  • Complications with anesthesia 
  • Numbness or pain at the surgical site 
  • Swelling, bruising, and skin coloration 
  • Unfavorable changes in breathing
  • Possible infections 
  • Poor healing or noticable scarring
  • Hole in the nasal septum 
  • Need for a revisional surgery
  • Unmet vanity expectations 

If everything goes well and according to plan, a rhinoplasty will have many positive outcomes such as clearing of nasal pathways and better breathing, restoring of nasal cavity functionality (while also addressing any aesthetic issues that need be addressed along the way), relief from sinus issues, and better sleep at night without incessant snoring. 

There’s no shame in getting a nose job, especially if it’s for medical reasons to improve your overall health. This procedure can make substantial changes in patients’ lives. Rhinoplasty is not something to take lightly, so it’s best to have multiple consultations before making the decision, even shopping around for different doctors.

Want to learn more? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Book an online appointment with us to go over your questions and concerns regarding your nose and its functionality. We will investigate all aspects of your breathing before concluding that a rhinoplasty is right for you.

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What is a balloon sinuplasty?

Who is a balloon sinuplasty candidate? 

We hear the term “sinuses” all the time, but some people might not know what they really are besides things that act up when we have allergies. Sinuses are empty chambers in the face and forehead that are susceptible to inflammation and infection. Chronic issues often lead to a diagnosis of sinuplasty. 

What is sinusitis? 

It is the inflammation of the sinus lining also known as chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). This happens when te nose is prevented from normal draining processes and brings on subsequent pain and discomfort. Common symptoms of sinusitis include tooth or facial pressure, unusual discharge from the nose or throat , difficulty breathing from the nose, headache, fatigue, and the loss of sense of smell. If you are a person who suffers from sinusitis, you are a candidate for a balloon sinuplasty

How do I know if I’m a candidate for a balloon sinuplasty?

If you’re experiencing sinus issues, it’s best to seek a doctor’s advice on how best to proceed. When it comes to deciding whether you’re a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, the Breathe Clear institute uses the state-of-the-art Carestream CS 93000 CT Scanner in our offices. This eliminates the need for any hospital imaging appointments, keeping the entire care process within our office walls. If determined you are a candidate for the balloon sinuplasty, we will work with you to schedule the surgical procedure around your schedule. 

What does the procedure entail?

A balloon sinuplasty is a surgical procedure which uses the Balloon Sinuplasty™ system and is performed in our offices. While it is not the only procedure available to patients with CRS, it is considered less invasive in comparison to the endoscopic sinus surgery (which Breathe Clear Institute also offers). The technology has been around for nearly 20 years and is considered safe and effective for opening up sinus cavities for better breathing from the nose.

First, the doctor uses a topical anesthetic to dull pain, then inserts a small uninflated balloon into the nasal cavity and into the narrowed sinus drainage pathways. Once the balloon is inflated, it widens the blocked areas and is then removed and used in any other blocked pathways. 

Surgery results and aftercare 

After your balloon sinuplasty, the doctor will prescribe pain management medications for once the patient is back home and resting. Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, the recovery time is around 24-hours, depending on the patient. This is a significantly less amount of time than our more invasive sinus surgeries. 

Once healed, our patients can expect to be alleviated from any of the aforementioned sinus issues and continue their normal life. They will be able to breathe better, sleep better, increase in both sense of taste and smell, reduce nose and throat drainage, avoid tooth and facial pain, and generally feel better in the sinus region of the head. 

Want to learn more about sinitutus/CRS procedures? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Don’t diagnose yourself when it comes to sinusitis – that’s why we’re here to help. Our comprehensive testing and staff of experts will lead you in the right direction in order to manage your sinus issues.

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How to remove nasal polyps and foreign objects

What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are benign, teardrop-shaped growths on nasal and sinus tissue. They are often caused by inflammation of the nasal passage and sinuses for prolonged periods of time. Overall decrease in nasal functions are symptoms of nasal polyps, along with snoring, facial pressure, headache, and coughing. While evidence shows different causes of nasal polyps, it is an area that needs more research. Luckily, there are a variety of procedures to successfully remove nasal polyps and many other obstructions in the nasal cavity.

How to manage and remove nasal polyps 

The first course of action to treat nasal polyps is typically with a nasal spray, antihistamines, and decongestant medication. At-home remedies such as using a humidifier, rinsing your nasal cavity with saline solution, and avoiding irritants while managing existing allergies will help soothe the situation. If over-the-counter and prescription medications are not helping with pain management or frequency, surgery may be the next step. 

If surgical removal of nasal polyps is decided, the doctor will use a device called a nasal endoscope and a video monitor  to determine the existence or severity of polyps. A biopsy might be taken in order to further investigate, or the doctor may order a MRI or CT scan to get a full picture of any affected tissue. Surgery is a quick procedure using local or general anesthesia depending on the case. The Breathe Clear Institute uses a nearby facility for surgery.

Recovery is relatively quick and it is suggested to keep any activity light for a week after, while also protecting the nose. Nasal polyps are treatable, but results may vary depending on the individual, and polyps may return again at a later date. Be sure to track any similar symptoms and connect with a doctor if another nasal polyp has grown. This procedure can be done more than once for optimal results, but we will try our best to remedy every situation for the long-term.

Foreign objects in the nasal cavity 

Young children are curious by nature and often explore their bodies in ways that sometimes yield harmful results. A common example of this is when a child sticks a foreign object up their nose, typically something small and round like a piece of food or part of a toy. Symptoms include the child having difficulty breathing out of one side of the nose, unusual nasal drip, fussiness that cannot be explained, or a foul odor coming from the face. If any number of these symptoms are present, it’s best to make an appointment rather than try to remove it at home. 

In any situation, it is important to keep the nasal cavity clear from organic or foreign objects in order to breathe properly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We are here to help. 

Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If you or a family member are experiencing difficulty breathing through the nose, we recommend making an appointment to see us. Whether there is something trapped in the nasal cavity that is causing an obstruction, or you believe there to be naturally growing polyps, we have solutions to rectify these situations.

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How to treat chronic ear infections in children

What exactly is an ear infection?

An ear infection is the blockage of the Eustachian tube, which is the narrow tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat located behind the eardrum. The blockage is a build up of fluids that becomes infected, eventually causing pain and discomfort. After a day at the pool, these are often referred to as “swimmer’s ear” but are still under the ear infections umbrella. 

Ear infections are so common in children under five years old that they account for nearly 80% of all pediatrician visits within the age group. The scientific term that doctors may use for ear infections is “otitis media” and is usually easy to treat within children. The Eustachian tubes of children are quite small and are more parallel to the middle ear compared to adults, so they are more easily clogged and infected. Take our online Eustachian tube test to see if the child’s symptoms align. 

Childhood ear infections can often occur alongside other illnesses. It’s important to see a doctor for proper treatment if any of the following at-home remedies are not working within the first couple of days. Symptoms include noticeable differences in hearing, imbalance, fever, unusual crying and fussiness, and fluid draining from the ear. 

What can I do at home to ease the pain?

If a child is in pain and you have to wait to see the pediatrician, there are some simple ways to alleviate the pain with products likely already around the house. Here are some simple ways to help children with a possible ear infection before seeing a doctor:

  • Cool set humidifier in child’s room
  • Warm compresses or hot water bottle to the ear
  • Gargling salt water
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers for children
  • Nasal spray for children
  • Ear drops (children 2+ years old)

These methods may help ease the pain, but they will not help destroy the bacteria inside the ear itself. The next step is to visit us at the Breathe Clear Institute. 

Why does my child keep getting ear infections?

Recurring ear infections are a reason to see a doctor. Typically, if your child has four or more ear infections within a twelve-month period, we recommend seeing your pediatrician or visiting our offices. Treatment will vary on the severity and frequency of the infections and customized to each individual patient.

When is it time to go beyond antibiotics and consider surgery? 

In order to avoid resistance to antibiotic therapies, surgery may be recommended. One method we use  is placing a special myringotomy tube in the child’s ear to create an opening in the tube for proper flow of air and drainage. Another option is the removal of the adenoids, otherwise known as an adenoidectomy. Both are small surgical procedures done in our offices. 

Ear infections are not contagious, so your child is welcome to return to daycare, school, or everyday interactions so long as they are feeling up for it. Treatment will continue and be monitored to ensure success. 

Let us help you find the right solution – Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

No one wants to see their child in pain, especially if it’s chronic. Come see us to assess your child and see what the best avenue of treatment will be.

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Can Plastic Surgery Fix Your Nose Issues?

Can Plastic Surgery Fix Your Nose Issues?

When you hear the words “nose job” you probably think of cosmetic surgery. It is true that nose surgery, known as rhinoplasty, can give you the sculpted nose you’ve always dreamed of. But that isn’t the only purpose of nasal plastic surgery. These procedures can also improve breathing, fix structural deformities, and correct injuries. Even though medical insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic nose surgery, it will if there is a medical necessity. If you have one of the following conditions, you could be a good candidate for medical nose surgery.

Deviated Septum

One of the most common medical reasons for nose surgery is a deviated septum. Close to 80 percent of people have some degree of septal deviation. Injury or atypical growth can cause the center wall of the nose to warp or bend. In many people, the deformity is minor and doesn’t cause any discomfort. But for more severe cases, the deviated septum can obstruct breathing in one or both nostrils, leading to chronic sinus infections, nosebleeds, facial pain, and congestion. Thankfully, this can be corrected with a special procedure called septoplasty. Some people even choose to combine cosmetic surgery and septum correction in a procedure called septorhinoplasty. 

Enlarged Turbinates

If you’re experiencing chronic congestion, it could be due to enlarged turbinates. Turbinates are structures inside the nasal passages that filter and warm the air we breathe every day. When these structures expand beyond their normal size, you’ll be left with an incessant stuffy nose. Turbinate reduction surgery can correct this problem by decreasing its size. However, since turbinates are necessary for proper nasal function, you can’t remove them completely.

Broken Nose

If you suffer a broken nose, you will need to see a nose doctor immediately to assess the damage. They may ask you to return in a few days to wait for the swelling to subside. Once they evaluate the nose injury, you could receive surgery within 7-10 days (before the bones heal on their own). This type of plastic surgery is called nasal fracture reduction and without it, your bones could heal incorrectly. If you wait too long, you could be left with a nose deformity and breathing issues. In this case, you can consider an outpatient septorhinoplasty. 

Aging Nose

Aging is another common cause of structure nasal obstruction. The combination of weakened cartilage and gravity leads to drooping and collapsing of the nostrils. If you’re struggling with breathing through your nose, try lifting the tip up with your finger. If breathing is improved, rhinoplasty could be the answer to your problem. Plastic nose surgery can reshape and strengthen the nose to make breathing easier.

Breathe Clear Institute Can Fix Your Nose Issues with Plastic Surgery 

Before you can undergo nasal surgery, the medical professionals at our Torrance ENT clinic will need to thoroughly evaluate you. There are a variety of causes for nasal issues and we will need to determine the best ENT treatment for your particular problem. For example, if allergies are behind your congestion, immunotherapy could be a more effective and less invasive option. But if we decide that surgery is the right course of action, just know that your nose is in good hands.

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How to Finally Stop Your Leaky Nose

How to Finally Stop Your Leaky Nose

If your nose is like a faucet that just won’t turn off, you’re a victim of the dreaded runny nose. That drip, drip, drip is probably driving you wild. You may even have skin irritation right at the base of your nostrils. If you can’t leave your house without a box of tissues, It’s probably time to do something about it. Read on to discover how to finally stop that leaky nose (hopefully for good!).

Figure Out Why Your Nose is Running in the First Place

The first step to stopping your runny nose is to identify what is causing it:

Viruses

Viruses like the cold and flu release inflammation-causing chemicals called cytokines. This commonly results in a drippy nose with clear drainage. Thankfully, this will usually go away with time. However, there are plenty of OTC medications to help you get through it.

Allergies

When your immune system mistakes a foreign material as dangerous, it will trigger the release of histamine. This chemical response can cause a host of respiratory and skin reactions, including a runny nose with clear mucus. Symptoms can be temporary or ongoing.

Sinus Infection

When colds or allergies get out of hand, a sinus infection can brew. As bacteria infect your sinuses, you will produce a thicker, yellow or green discharge from the nose. Though many sinus infections heal themselves, steroids and antibiotics can help in severe cases.

Spices and Onions

If you cook often or eat a lot of spicy food, you may find yourself wiping your nose constantly. Ingesting spicy food and cooking with onions and spices can trigger nerve stimulation in the sinuses. When these nerves are stimulated by fumes and foreign particles, mucous production can increase.

Nasal Polyps

Soft, yellow growths in the sinuses called polyps can lead to a chronic runny nose. This is because they are made up of inflammatory cells which trigger mucus production as well as facial pressure and loss of smell. Treatment includes steroids or full removal.

Vasomotor rhinitis

Vasomotor rhinitis is a chronic condition involving overactive nerve endings in the nose. This ailment is tricky to diagnose since it resembles allergies. 

Once you diagnose the cause of your leaky nose, you can try one of the following remedies to fix it.

Eliminate Triggers

If allergies are to blame, you’ll need to identify your triggers. Schedule an appointment with an allergist and have an allergy test done. It could be pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, or feathers. Removing the allergen from your life or using air filters can help. If spices and fumes from onions and peppers provoke your drippy nose, you may need to stay away from those foods. Chemical fragrances and cold, dry air are also common nasal irritants and should be avoided.

Take an Antihistamine

Regular use of an antihistamine can significantly reduce or eliminate your leaky nose. By blocking histamine releases, allergy symptoms can be managed. It could take a while to find an oral or intranasal antihistamine that works for you. And depending on the allergy trigger, you may have to take it seasonally or all year long.

Use a Corticosteroid Nasal Spray

Intranasal corticosteroids like fluticasone reduce inflammation in the sinus cavity. When inflammation is down, the sinus dripping will subside. Nasal corticosteroids are very effective at treating sinus issues, especially with allergy sufferers. They can be used long-term with few side effects.

Irrigate, Irrigate, Irrigate

Sometimes the best thing to do is flush out your sinus cavities with saline sprays, neti pots, or nasal irrigation machines. Each method forces salinated water through your nasal passages to clear them out. The saline will typically go in through one nostril and then out the other, pushing out mucus, allergens, viruses, or bacteria. You’ll need to irrigate your sinuses at least twice a day to keep your leaky nose under control.

Try a Nerve-Blocking Nasal Spray

If you have a chronic drippy nose from vasomotor rhinitis, you can try prescription ipratropium bromide. This nasal spray blocks the overactive nerves that cause that incessant nose drip. This medication can also be used if spicy foods are a trigger for you. Although it is useful, the effects only last about 4 hours.

Opt for Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy, such as ClariFix, is another great option for vasomotor rhinitis and other chronic runny nose conditions. Using sub-freezing temperatures, a nose doctor will essentially stun those overactive nerves to return your nose to normal mucous production. Patients typically see a 60-70% reduction in sinus drip after treatment is complete. Results can last years.

Breathe Clear Institute Can Finally Stop Your Leaky Nose

If there seems to be no end in sight for your runny nose, schedule an appointment with our ENT clinic in Torrance. Breathe Clear Institute offers a variety of treatments to correct your chronic leaky nose. Services include non-invasive procedures like cryotherapy and nasal polyp removal to invasive nose surgeries. Our ENT doctors use a holistic approach to medicine so you can expect to be treated as an individual. Schedule your appointment today and finally put an end to that neverending nose drip!

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Common Causes of Nasal Fractures

Nasal Fractures: Why Do They Happen? 

A nasal fracture, also known as a broken nose, occurs when an individual’s cartilage or nasal bone becomes damaged, usually in the form of breaks or cracks. Learn about the various causes, symptoms, and treatments of nasal fractures with the knowledgeable team at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Causes

A nose can become fractured for many different reasons. Common causes include auto accidents, contact sports, falling, and physical altercations. In the event of a car accident, the airbag or steering wheel can strike the face, resulting in a fracture. Sports like football, basketball, soccer, boxing, and more often are the consequence of this type of injury. Weather conditions and uneven surfaces may be the culprit. Finally, physical arguments can lead to a broken or cracked nasal bone. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of a nasal fracture may include blood coming from the nose, pain, swelling, difficulty breathing, bruising, and a crooked nose. 

Treatment 

Treatment options for a nasal fracture will vary depending on its severity. Minor fractures can sometimes be treated at home with recommendations by a doctor. In other instances, a patient’s nose may need to be realigned, which may be done in office. More serious fractures will likely require surgery. It is important to seek out medical attention after suffering from a broken nose in a timely manner so that a doctor can complete a thorough evaluation and offer the most ideal treatment option. 

Receive Treatment For Your Nasal Fracture at Breathe Clear Institute 

At Breathe Clear Institute, we specialize in the management and treatment of conditions affecting the nose. If you have broken your nose recently, our doctor may be able to reset and repair your nose without having to perform a surgical procedure. Symptoms we typically see include cosmetic changes to the nose, tenderness, black eyes, difficulty breathing, and nosebleeds. Dr. Davis performs this procedure, which just takes a few minutes, under local anesthesia in the office. He uses delicate instruments to gently move the nose back into its original position. 

If it is past the 10-day mark of receiving the injury, the bones will most likely have to be re-broken, thus requiring surgery. Dr. Hurvitz, a board-certified plastic surgeon, specializes in rhinoplasty and can perform this procedure in a nearby operating room. The severity of the fracture will determine how long the procedure will last. Following the surgery, Dr. Hurvitz will place a small cast on the nose, which will later be removed during a scheduled postoperative visit. Patients who undergo this surgery typically experience improved breathing, improved appearance of the nose, and increased confidence. 

When you need relief, look no further than Breathe Clear Institute. Our team of experts will ensure you receive the best care possible and are able to go back to living a healthy lifestyle. To schedule an appointment, you can contact us by phone or fill out our contact form which is available on our website.

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