Beaumont Doctor First in Michichigan to Use New Sinus Device

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Man with chronic sinusitus breathes easy after implant surgery

It’s technology borrowed from cardiology, similar to angioplasty and stenting. However, this sinus stent is different. It is dissolvable

Mike Whitty, 63, of Warren, Mich. has had sinus issues since college. At one point, he felt like he and his nasal spray were inseparable. Through the years, he was uncomfortable, but he seemed to tough out his long-time sinus issues- even after he and his nasal spray went their separate ways. However, not too long ago, that all changed.

“My chronic sinusitis was never this bad until the last year or so. It got so extreme. I had difficulty breathing. I was snorting,” explains the sales management training professional.

Chronic sinusitis is a condition in which patients’ sinuses become swollen and inflamed for three consecutive months or more, typically related to infection. Symptoms include nasal congestion; difficulty breathing; facial pain or headache; fatigue; reduced sense of smell and taste; and depression.

Mike’s quality of life quickly diminished. “I couldn’t blow my nose. Sleeping was difficult too. I was miserable.”

In the past, he had contemplated sinus surgery, but shied away from this option when he heard about possible complications. He was also concerned that in some patients scarring and inflammation occurred within the first 30 days after surgery. But now his congestion was so bad, he decided surgery was worth the risk.

His otolaryngologist, Daniel Rontal, M.D., told Mike he was a candidate for endoscopic surgery enhanced by the implantation of a new steroid-releasing, stent device in the sinuses. It’s called the Propel implant.

“It’s technology borrowed from cardiology, similar to angioplasty and stenting. However, this sinus stent is different. It is dissolvable,” says Dr. Rontal. “The Propel implant helps keep the sinuses open and dissolves in 30 to 45 days. And while it’s dissolving, it bathes the swollen tissue in steroids. The spring-like device is implanted at the source of the problem, right at the mucus membrane of the sinuses.”

Sinus surgery performed with the medicated stent implant reduces inflammation and scarring in the sinuses. This results in a quicker recovery.

Three weeks ago Mike became the fifth patient in Michigan to receive the Propel implants. In fact, Dr. Rontal and his father, Michael Rontal, M.D., were the first physicians in Michigan to implant this new device.

“It was immediate. When I woke up, I could breathe much more easily,” says Mike. “I was also astonished at the lack of pain.”

The outpatient surgery took place on Jan. 7 at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

“This is like a life revelation. I’m giddy everyday. I can breathe,” adds Mike. “I’m grateful to Dr. Dan.”

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Angela Blazevski
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