"Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissues that line the air-filled cavities within the skull," said Dr. Jordan Pritikin of the Chicago Nasal and Sinus Center.
When steroids, decongestants and antibiotics fail, surgery becomes an option.
"We are opening up this space to allow air to flow, allow mucus to drain, and to get rid of as much diseased tissue as possible," said Pritikin.
Up to 20 percent of nasal surgeries fail due to scarring or recurrent inflammation. Now Dr. Pritikin is using a stent that holds the sinuses open. The stent, called Propel, delivers medication.
"Doesn't interfere with the drainage, doesn't interfere with airflow, but more importantly it's coated with a steroid that slowly releases into the tissues to decrease inflammation," said Dr. Pritikin.
The stent is absorbed by the body. Patients find long-term relief.
The device received FDA approval in September.
Half-a-million people in the U.S. each year undergo surgery to treat sinusitis. Studies show the Propel Implant has provided a 29-percent reduction in the need for postoperative interventions.