Leonard woman back to traveling after sinusitis procedure


Beaumont doctor: Balloon sinuplasty procedure takes 30 minutes and provides relief

Karen Blaszyk and her six sisters during a
2006 trip to St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Karen Blaszyk had been a patient of Beaumont ear, nose and throat specialist, Arthur Rosner, M.D., since 2009, but it wasn’t until recently that her sinus infections were occurring more frequently and affecting her quality of life.

“I had pain in my face, horrible headaches, couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t sleep,” says Blaszyk, a physical therapy clerical coordinator from Leonard. “I would be coughing all night because of drainage or my nose was plugged up and I was having trouble breathing … I was always exhausted.”

Co-workers and family members would point out to Blaszyk that she was constantly squinting, too. Without realizing it, squinting became a natural habit for Blaszyk, as she was trying to cope with the excessive pain behind her left eye.

As a result of the sinusitis, Blaszyk recalls she was experiencing a tremendous amount of pain and pressure and had to forgo a trip to Florida that she and her six sisters planned. “I felt so bad about missing the trip ... I didn’t want to miss anything again.”

Sinusitis is one of the leading chronic diseases in the United States, with an estimated 31 million adults diagnosed each year.

Dr. Rosner explains during certain stages of sleep the nose becomes congested and blocks the sinus openings. This causes sinus pressure and can disrupt sleep. Because of the interrupted or fragmented sleep, an increase in an inflammatory chemical in the body occurs, resulting in more sinus pain and further sleep disruption, leading to bacterial sinusitis.

“Dilating the sinuses with balloons disrupts this pattern,” says Dr. Rosner, who presented these findings at an American Rhinologic meeting. “Patients with sinus pain disrupting their sleep seem to respond particularly well to balloon sinuplasty.”

Seeking some relief, Blaszyk scheduled an appointment with Dr. Rosner. He explained to her that she would be a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty, an outpatient procedure for select patients with sinusitis.

Dr. Rosner says, “Karen was sedated and a balloon catheter was gently inserted into her sinus cavity and inflated to dilate the blocked passageway, allowing the fluids to drain.”

The outpatient procedure at Beaumont Hospital, Troy lasted about 30 minutes and provided Blaszyk with immediate relief.

“I felt really good. Dr. Rosner said I could probably go back to work the next day, but I took one day off to rest,” says Blaszyk.

Blaszyk says she is feeling so much better and finally feels well rested in the morning. She’s back to traveling, too. Later this month, she and her sisters are taking a trip to North Carolina to celebrate their mother’s 90th birthday – pain free.