Fifteen-year-old Maggie Parks of
Garden City couldn’t make it through
a shopping trip without having a
“I was literally coughing every
hour of the day,” said Maggie. “People
would stare and ask me if I was sick.”
But Maggie wasn’t sick as strangers
supposed; she was just one of the 37
million people suffering from sinusitis.
Sinusitis occurs when the cavities
around the nasal passages (sinuses)
become inflamed. This interferes with
normal drainage in the sinuses, causing
mucus to build up. Characterized
by a cough, facial pain or pressure,
nasal congestion, and headache
among other symptoms, sinusitis that
continues for an extended period of
time is considered chronic.
Like many sinus sufferers, Maggie’s
chronic sinusitis infringed on her life.
She was frequently absent from school
and lost interest in playing sports due
to exhaustion. Her mother, Margaret
Parks, was desperate to find a way to
get her daughter some relief.
“We tried everything – medications,
sprays, even nasal pots which clear
toxins from the nose – and Maggie
still had no relief!” said Mrs. Parks.
“We knew there had to be something
out there that could help her.”
In August, Mrs. Parks took her
daughter for an evaluation by Winthrop
otolaryngologist Warren H. Zelman,
MD, a specialist in the full range of
pediatric and adult otolaryngology,
head and neck surgery.
“We needed answers and were
confident that Dr. Zelman would leave
no stone unturned,” said Mrs. Parks.
Upon thorough examination and
comprehensive testing, Dr. Zelman
determined that Maggie was an ideal
candidate for a minimally invasive
endoscopic technique using Balloon
Sinuplasty™ – just one of the many
advanced technologies available to
ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) patients
“Balloon Sinuplasty is a cutting-edge
device that ventilates and drains
the sinus with virtually no risk to the
patient,” said Dr. Zelman.
“Not all sinusitis is the same.
Medical therapy can alleviate symptoms
for some chronic sinusitis sufferers, but
for others like Maggie, medical modalities
alone are not enough. These
patients may be candidates for Balloon
Sinuplasty,” added Dr. Zelman.
Balloon Sinuplasty – the latest
evolution in endoscopic sinus surgery
– involves the placement of a small,
flexible balloon catheter through the
nostril into the blocked sinus passageway.
When the balloon is inflated,
it gently restructures and ventilates
the blocked nasal passages to restore
normal sinus drainage and function.
The technique is often used in conjunction
with other forms of
endoscopic sinus surgery.
Maseih Moghaddassi, MD,
otolaryngologist at Winthrop, began
using this cutting-edge technology as
soon as it was approved by the FDA.
Dr. Moghaddassi is an advocate for
the device which “provides an excellent
option for a large patient
population where medical therapy
wasn’t enough, but conventional surgery
was too aggressive.” In addition,
Dr. Moghaddassi notes the important
advantages it has over traditional
“Some patients refrain from having
sinus surgery because of fear of bone
or tissue removal, or post-operative
packing. Balloon Sinuplasty eliminates
the need for both, so there is no reason
for these patients to suffer any longer,”
added Dr. Moghaddassi.
What’s more, the advanced Relieva
Luma™ Sinus Illumination System that
is used by ENT surgeons at Winthrop –
the latest in the Acclarent family of
Balloon Sinuplasty devices – uses targeted
fiber optic light, which illuminates
the inside of the sinus cavity to ease
placement of the balloon within the
sinus. In addition, this technology provides
safe and effective access to the
frontal sinus – the most difficult sinus
to access due to its close proximity to
the brain. It also eliminates the need
for x-rays so patients aren’t exposed to
“Winthrop’s Division of
Otolaryngology is at the vanguard of a
new era in image-guided endoscopic
sinus surgery,” said Dr. Moghaddassi.
Just like the ENT surgeons at
Winthrop, Theresa Criscitelli, RN,
CNOR, Assistant Manger of the
Ambulatory Surgery Unit at Winthrop,
who is in charge of ENT surgery, is
passionate about providing cuttingedge
care to patients at Winthrop.
“We are always looking toward
expanding and being at the forefront of
new treatment modalities,” said Ms.
Criscitelli. “Balloon Sinuplasty is revolutionary
– nothing compares to it! It is
truly a new phase in ENT surgery in the
era of minimally invasive procedures.”
Maggie Parks underwent the
Balloon Sinuplasty procedure with
Dr. Zelman on September 24, 2008
and within two days Maggie’s symptoms
began to resolve. Today, she no
longer suffers from an unrelenting
cough and her mother is grateful.
“The silence of Maggie not coughing
is deafening!” said Mrs. Parks.
Maggie, currently a student at
Sacred Heart Academy, is now focusing
her renewed energy on her studies
and is grateful for the cutting-edge
care she received at Winthrop.
“Dr. Zelman and his staff were
extremely comforting and professional,”
she said. “After the surgery, I felt
100 percent different. And best of all,
I can go places and not have to worry
that people will think I’m sick.”
The Division of Otolaryngology at
Winthrop is staffed by a team of expert
otolaryngologists who are trained to
diagnose and treat a variety of diseases
of the ears, nose and throat.
“Winthrop’s Division of Otolaryngology
offers one of the best ENT
services on Long Island,” said Anthony
Durante, MD, Chief of the Division of
Otolaryngology at Winthrop. “Balloon
Sinuplasty is the most recent addition
to the armamentarium of advanced
therapies that we are privileged to
provide to the community.”
Physicians in the Division of
Otolaryngology at Winthrop are committed
to offering patients the latest options
for the treatment of a variety of diseases
of the head and neck. In addition
to Dr. Zelman and Dr. Moghaddassi,
Winthrop otolaryngologists Paul Bell,
MD; Michael Cohen, MD; Emil Ganjian,
MD; Saul Modlin, MD; Nathan Monhian,
MD; and Alexander Sorin, MD, are also
trained in the advanced Balloon
For more information about
Balloon Sinuplasty or for a list of
Winthrop ENTs in your area, call
Vol. 19, No. 2
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