TULSA - For chronic sinus sufferers - and Tulsa has plenty of them - there's a new procedure that could save a lot of time and money, while providing a permanent fix.
It's called in-office, multisinus balloon dilation, and it's pretty much what it sounds like.
Doctors insert and inflate small balloons in some of the sinus cavities, increasing the size of the cavity and allowing it to drain more freely.
That helps prevent infection, and recent studies have shown that patients' symptoms were reduced by nearly 70 percent.
Those for whom the procedure was ineffective still have the option of surgery, but that can be expensive, and relatively painful compared to the dilation process.
Dr. Bruce Hudkins of Tulsa told KRMG that for dilation, "sometimes it's just a co-pay for an office visit."
He says the procedure has been largely successful in his practice.
"I think it's something that's going to expand its use as an intermediate step," he said. "Something we use earlier, more often, rather than jumping straight to surgery."
He said Tulsa is consistently listed among the top ten cities in the country for sinus problems.