Sinus And Nasal Center
Sinus And Nasal Treatment Center in Austin, TX
Patients frequently suffer from chronic nasal allergies and congestion, recurring sinus infections, and chronic sinus pressure with little relief despite many visits to the doctor. Dr. Slaughter is an Otolaryngologist who has pioneered the modern non-surgical and minimally invasive techniques that have provided relief for thousands. As a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, he offers the state of the art in allergy treatments for his patients. Dr. Slaughter serves as a National Entellus Center of Excellence Trainer in balloon sinuplasty and other minimally invasive techniques and led the way for simple office-based solutions in ENT care.
Our office has all of the advanced diagnostic equipment such as our very low dose in-office Xoran MiniCAT CT scan available in one location to make your visit a complete and comprehensive evaluation of your sinus and nasal issues. Request an appointment to see Dr. Slaughter today and join the thousands who have found relief to their sinus issues.
Therapies Involved in Sinus and Nasal Treatments
Thorough allergy testing and treatment including allergy drop therapy and allergy shot therapy are available in our Allergy Center.
Allergy medication doesn’t prevent allergies. It allows the patient to have the allergy and tries to cover the symptoms up. It has associated side effects and has to be used indefinitely. Immunotherapy such as allergy drops and shots actually make the patient’s body develop antibodies to block the allergic reaction from happening. Typically this immunotherapy only needs to be used for 3 years.
In addition to allergy drops, there are now many safe effective medications that we can use to reduce a patient’s allergy complaints. It’s Dr. Slaughter’s deep understanding of how these different treatments compliment each other that allows him to create the perfect balance of therapies for his patients.
Non-allergy Related Treatment
Many patients suffer from all the typical allergy complaints of congestion, runny nose, and recurring sinus infections only to be told their allergy testing is negative. These patients may have one of several conditions: Local Allergic Rhinitis, Vasomotor Rhinitis, and Structural Issues.
What is Local Allergic Rhinitis?
Local Allergic Rhinitis (LAR) is a true allergy confined to the nasal cavity. It will respond to all the typical allergy therapies but will show negative skin testing and blood tests. Our comprehensive allergy treatments can let you get control of these bothersome symptoms even if you were told: “you don’t have allergies”.
LAR can be treated very effectively with allergy drop therapy. In these patients, we formulate the allergy drops based upon the patient’s history. The types of exposures specific to the time of year have a direct impact on the symptoms experienced by the patient. Common and typical exposures include the following:
- Local weeds
Allergy drops treatment can be very effective in resolving the patient’s symptoms.
Vasomotor Rhinitis Condition
Vasomotor Rhinitis patients have an allergy-like reaction to changes in temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure change. There is a unique topical therapy available for this condition that safely controls these symptoms, called Atrovent. Modern balloon sinuplasty and turbinate reduction can also help relieve these symptoms non-surgically. Now, the Clarifix® procedure offers an elegant alternative. This simple procedure cools the nerve that causes congestion and runniness and offers a long-term solution to Vasomotor Rhinitis. This procedure takes about 3 minutes under IV sedation in our office. There is no significant recovery and patients are back to normal activity the next day.
What Structural Issues Does Dr. Slaughter Treat?
Chronic Sinusitis, Septal Deviation, Turbinate Hypertrophy, Nasal Polyps, and Fungal Sinusitis are structural issues in the nose that can mimic allergy complaints. Patients with these conditions may suffer for years on allergy therapy without relief because the diagnosis was missed at the initial visit.
Dr. Slaughter personally evaluates all patients at the initial visit to make sure the treatment plan is correct. He can use non-surgical and minimally invasive techniques to correct these issues as an office procedure under IV sedation. He has pioneered treatments such as submucosal turbinate reduction, endoscopic polypectomy and more to relieve these structural issues.
In addition to relieving these structural issues, Dr. Slaughter has developed the use of custom topical antibiotic treatments. Patients suffering from sinus infections typically are given an antibiotic without any culture being performed. Unfortunately, the bacteria may not be sensitive to that antibiotic and the infection will persist. Dr. Slaughter can perform video nasal endoscopy at the time of your visit or procedure to obtain a culture and guide your therapy. Dr. Slaughter also can perform a custom antibiotic sinus wash, called cyclone lavage, to evacuate the sinus infection and irrigate the sinus cavity with antibiotics. This is typically done under IV sedation along with balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon Sinuplasty offers nonsurgical therapy to open blocked sinus passageways and relieve many sinus conditions including chronic sinusitis, acute recurring sinusitis, chronic sinus pressure, and even migraine headache.
Dr. Slaughter was intimately involved in the creation of the original prototype of the sinus balloon he uses for balloon sinuplasty and leads the way in the use of IV sedation in the office to allow comfort, safety, and advanced procedures to be performed. This allows him to correct other issues at the same time as the balloon sinuplasty such as a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates.
Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure done under IV sedation in our state of the art procedure room. It involves the placement of a tiny sinus balloon into each of the natural drainage pathways of the sinus cavities. The natural pathway is then opened by inflation of the balloon. The balloon is removed and no stent is required. This restores the natural sinus drainage and has great success long term in relieving sinus issues and congestion. Frequently it is performed along with turbinate reduction as well as minimally invasive endoscopic septoplasty to further enhance the results.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes. Typically, the patient can sense improved breathing and reduction of sinus pressure almost immediately. Patients have minimal discomfort and usually do not require any pain medication. Most patients are back to work the following day.
There is no packing or foreign material placed in the nose and never any bruising or swelling that accompanies traditional sinus surgery.
Extensive research has been done evaluating balloon sinuplasty success. The prestigious ENT science journal, The Laryngoscope, recently published the results of a study, and it’s quite impressive. The results clearly demonstrate that the procedure is successful 97.5% of the time with a dramatic reduction in patients sinus related complaints. This is measured by the Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test scores (SNOT). There were very significant reductions in the work/school days missed, homebound days, physician/nurse visits, acute sinus infections, and antibiotic prescriptions. All amazing results with a procedure that had a mean recovery time of only 1.4 days.
Even more exciting, is that patients have been followed for an extensive time to evaluate if these great results stay with the test of time. Patients’ improvement was evaluated at 6 months, 12 months, and up to 24 months after the procedure. There was no recurrence of their sinus issues over time. The gentle dilation of the sinus outflow tracts by the balloon keeps its patency over time, making the need to perform the procedure again in the future very unlikely in most cases.
Sinus and Nasal Surgery
Sinus and nasal surgeries to correct infections and nasal congestion have also been changed dramatically from the old days of packs and splints. Conditions such as chronic sinusitis, septal deviation, turbinate swelling, nasal polyps, and nasal fractures are now easily treated in the office setting without the need for general anesthesia.
The algorithm we followed in the past was to use maximal medical therapy and if that failed we would do sinus surgery. Now Dr. Slaughter will do balloon sinuplasty typically in conjunction with correction of any deviated septum and shrinking the turbinates. Any nasal polyps can be addressed at the same time. This minimally invasive technique will cure the chronic sinusitis 97.5% of the time without any surgery of the sinus being performed.
In rare cases, surgical therapy is still required for the sinuses. In these instances the natural outflow tract has been destroyed by the infection and balloon dilation alone will not be successful. Dr. Slaughter treats this condition with a hybrid approach using the sinus balloon where at all possible and minimally invasive surgical therapy where needed. This can be performed in our office procedure room under IV sedation. The procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes and patients can resume work the next day. There is no packing, splinting, or plastic placed in the nose. Most patients do not require pain medication.
The septum is the divider between the two nasal cavities and it is frequently crooked from abnormal growth or trauma. Dr. Slaughter performs modern minimally invasive Endoscopic Septoplasty which can be performed right in the office with intravenous sedation. He pioneered techniques that do not require any intranasal packing or splinting. Minimal discomfort, rapid recovery, and little downtime makes this an easy procedure to correct those long-standing nasal blockage issues.
Endoscopic Turbinate Reduction
Turbinate swelling is a frequent reason for nasal congestion. The turbinates are natural shelves that humidify, warm and filter the air we breathe. Whether from allergies, infection, or addiction to nasal sprays, the turbinates may stay persistently swollen despite maximal medical therapy. The reduction of the swollen nasal turbinates can now be performed by a minimally invasive technique similar to liposuction as an office procedure. They can be safely reduced in minutes to allow for free-breathing using this technique. Painless and with essentially no recovery the patient is right back to normal activity the next day. This technique does not carry the risk of an overly dry nose or “empty nose syndrome” that the old techniques could cause. It is typically performed under IV sedation in our office and may be combined with balloon sinuplasty.
Polypectomy – Polyp Removal
Recurring extensive surgical therapies over many years can be painful and expensive. Modern office-based Polypectomy procedures can be done safely and with comfort using intravenous sedation without the need for general anesthesia in our procedure room. Combined with Balloon Sinuplasty it can provide long-lasting results without all the downtime and expense. Comprehensive management in our Allergy Testing and Treatment Center can also dramatically reduce polyp recurrence. Typically polypectomy is performed along with balloon sinuplasty.
Fungal Sinusitis Treatment
Fungal sinus infections are a very difficult issue for some patients. This unique form of infection will not respond to traditional medical therapies. Dr. Slaughter has developed a comprehensive approach involving Balloon Sinuplasty, minimally invasive polyp removal using a microdebrider, antifungal topical therapies, and allergy management in our Allergy Testing and Treatment Center to relieve this condition with minimal recovery and lasting results.
Dr. Slaughter understands that the nasal structure and function are closely tied. As part of our Facial Cosmetic Care, he offers rhinoplasty (cosmetic nasal correction) to correct the cosmetic issues along with the assurance of optimal breathing.
Rhinoplasty is performed in our office procedure room. The patient arrives about an hour before the procedure for preparation. The patient undergoes IV sedation so they are not aware of the procedure and they do not feel any pain during the procedure. A small incision at the base of the nose, between the nostrils, is made for Dr. Slaughter to access the structures of the nose.
The specifics of the procedure vary from patient to patient but typically the nasal bones may be reshaped to reduce any “hump”. Any irregularities or lean of the bones is also corrected.
The nasal tip may be reshaped to remove irregularities, prominence, or bulbous nature. The purpose is to create a nicely shaped nasal tip that is symmetric with the nasal bones. Nasal projection, rotation, balance are all addressed.
Rhinoplasty is an art and Dr. Slaughter has more than 25 years of experience in this procedure. The small incision is closed with dissolvable suture and a small external splint is applied. There is no packing inside the nose and the patient will be able to breathe through their nose after the procedure. The procedure typically take about an hour and the patient is able to leave the office in about 30 minutes, with a friend or family driving them home.
Dr. Slaughter treats many other common sinuses and nasal conditions such as recurring nose bleed, nasal tumors, nasal fractures, nasal skin cancers, and much more.
Schedule a consultation
If you would like to learn more about the sinus and nasal treatments offered at Sinus & Snoring Specialists, call (512) 601-0303 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Slaughter at our office in Austin, TX.