By A. Norman Enright
It’s described by an experienced nasal surgeon as “the greatest advance in patient comfort and safety in nasal and sinus surgery since the utilization of general anesthesia“. A unique, new, FDA-cleared device allows patients to breathe through the nasal passages after cosmetic plastic nasal surgery, nasal septoplasty and turbinate reduction for breathing and even sinus surgery. Air flow despite the nose being completely packed to prevent bleeding and promote healing. Or, even if the nose is not packed, the patient benefits since there is always internal swelling, and mucus and blood accumulation.
“This is a huge victory for patient comfort. And, for safety”, notes Robert Kotler, MD, FACS of Beverly Hills, CA, inventor of the device. “The days of patients reluctantly tolerating their nose completely stuffed, like a Thanksgiving turkey, with that pounding pressure, ear-popping, and claustrophobia should now be a thing of the past”, notes Kotler. “Patients are the best advocates for this new breathing system. Ask them. But, there are probably millions of prospective patients who know they need and want the operation to unclog their eternally blocked nasal passages because they are tired of constant nose and sinus stuffiness, even sometimes with headaches. Plus, allergy sufferers have even more problems during the allergy high season.”
The dilemma for such unfortunates is that they’ve heard all the war stories of the misery after otherwise successful surgery. They have heard the unhappy reports of the dry, sore throat and the anxiety that comes with 100% nose passage blockage – “worse than any cold and allergy attack”, notes Kevin Tehrani, MD, anesthesiologist who has heard that complaint from many patients over the years.
Rejecting the option of having a one-time, one-hour surgery, because of all the bad press, the afflicted just soldier on with nose sprays, pills, anti-histamines, homeopathic drugs and even acupuncture hoping that somehow their nasal passages will, someday, miraculously, just open up.
Unfortunately, some noses will never work well until they are surgically repaired. After all, broken noses cannot be repaired with a pill. The operation is performed in a hospital, an outpatient surgery center or even properly accredited surgeon”s office operating facility. At that time, the internal nasal passages are opened; akin to widening a two-lane highway to a four-lane highway. That’s the “inside operation”, the nasal septoplasty and turbinate resection. If medically indicated, sinus surgery.
Patients having the the “outside operation”, cosmetic nasal surgery or rhinoplasty, also benefit with the airway in place.
Think of putting a soft, drinking straw onto the floor of the nose and you have the idea. The pair of nasal airways, for the right and left nasal passages, is made of soft silicone plastic tubes which allow air to pass through the channel nature intended it to, for one to five days after surgery. Providing such a normal route for breathing after surgery erases away a huge negative that has long plagued the procedure.
What inspired development of the devise that offered something better for patients was a single patient named Todd. The young man was very displeased with the appearance of his nose and the still-blocked air passages after nasal surgery, years earlier. He wanted relief badly, yet when told he would have difficulty breathing for up to five days after surgery, he refused surgery stating “If I have to have that (expletive deleted) packing, no way. I am out of here.”
Todd, agreed to be the first “test case” of over 150 to determine if placing such an airway would give comfort, relief and satisfaction; a better experience than the “old way”, without any air passage.
That first prototype worked perfectly for Todd. Below, he shares his experience with you:
“I put off having nasal revision surgery for 7 years because the nasal packing from my first surgery was such a bad experience. The cotton packing in my nose did not allow me to breathe which caused me extreme anxiety.”
“I sat up the first night after surgery because I could not breathe when I lay down. My mother sat with me the entire day and night until the packing was removed. I could not eat food or drink because the pressure in my ears was so bad that I felt I wanted to pull the packing out of my nose.”
“I heard about the nasal splints and was shown the alternative of using nasal tubes. My surgeon demonstrated how the nasal tubes worked and assured me that air would pass through allowing me to breathe air.”
“After surgery, I went to an aftercare facility where my mother was amazed to see me eating a full meal two hours after surgery, drinking liquids, being mentally comfortable and looking relaxed compared to my first experience of wanting the packing taken out ever minute.”
“The nasal tubes are the only way to go!”