Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital is helping patients who opt for surgery to relieve suffering from chronic sinusitis, a condition shared by one-in-eight adults, a groundbreaking treatment that will help them recover and get back to enjoying life sooner.

Since learning about Intersect ENT’s PROPEL Sinus Stent, Dr. David Mendelson, director of The Center for Sinus Care Innovation at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, has been incorporating it into many of his surgeries to treat chronic sinusitis. The lightweight, dissolvable, spring-like device that is inserted during surgery not only helps prop open the sinus passage after the procedure, but it also gradually delivers anti-inflammatory medication directly into the sinus lining to help alleviate nasal polyps and inflammation, which are common, even after surgery.

“Using PROPEL as part of our treatment ensures a sustained release of medication to help reduce the likelihood of inflammation and scarring during healing, which is vital in helping prevent polyps and irritation” Mendelson said. “Additionally, a dissolvable stent allows us to avoid any patient discomfort since we no longer need to remove a device from a very sensitive area.”

More than 29 million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is a condition in which patients’ sinuses become swollen and inflamed, leading to difficulty breathing, facial pain or headache, and loss of smell and taste. Chronic sinusitis is often misdiagnosed as allergies or a never-ending cold, both of which greatly impact a sufferer’s quality of life. The condition results in more than 24 lost work days per patient each year, resulting in a collective $12 billion cost to productivity annually in the U.S.

According to a recently released PROPEL PROGRESS study, the dissolving stent demonstrated a statistically significant 38 percent relative reduction in the need for post-operative interventions, such as additional surgical procedures or oral steroids, at 30 days compared to surgery alone with standard post-operative care. Clinical investigators also reported a 56 percent relative reduction in the need for oral steroids and a 75 percent relative reduction in the need for surgical interventions on sides treated with PROPEL compared to surgery alone at 30 days. The device placement success rate was 100 percent and there were no device-
related adverse events.

Historically, chronic sinusitis patients were limited to two treatment options: continued medical therapy, including antibiotics and topical nasal steroids, or conventional sinus surgery such as Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (ESS). Dr. Mendelson and Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital also offer Balloon Sinuplasty, originally developed by Acclarent, as a possible alternative to sinus surgery in the operating room, which may include cutting and removal of bone and tissue, general anesthesia, and an extended recovery period. The Balloon Sinuplasty devices utilize a small, flexible balloon catheter that is placed through the nose into the blocked sinus passageway. The balloon is then inflated to gently restructure and open the sinus passageway, restoring normal sinus drainage and function.

“Patient needs differ greatly, which is why we’re actively engaged in offering different options to relieve chronic sinusitis, depending on patient lifestyle and need, as well as the severity of their chronic sinusitis,” said Dr. Mendelson.