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Dr. Vincent Honrubia talks to Houston Life about how a storm stir up your sinus symptoms and the nonevasive procedure he recommends to fix them.
Derrick Shore - Here's a live look outside from our Avenida-Houston cam; looking over Discovery Green folks. Welcome back to Houston Life. So, chronic sinus symptoms like headaches, facial pain and breathing problems can all affect your quality of life and unfortunately, the recent weather we've been having, maybe a hurricane or two could make those existing issues even worse.Jennifer Broome - But there's good news. There is a minimally invasive technology that could help put an end to your sinus pain. Dr. Vincent Honrubia with the American Sinus Institute is here with the details. Hi, Dr. Honrubia.Dr. Vincent Honrubia - Hi! Thank you for having me.Jennifer Broome - Okay let's talk about this. Have you been noticing kind of an uptick in folks coming to see you since the storm and since our air quality has gotten so bad?Dr. Vincent Honrubia - Yes, we have noticed that and also that this recent exposure to all this dirty water, people swimming out of restaurants, people moving around in the water. Put off their head under this water that has a lot of bacteria causing, lots of problems and a lot more complicated infections that people ordinarily wouldn't be exposed to.Derrick Shore - And in the beginning, I mean a lot of people didn't really have a choice but to go through the water, I mean a lot of people were sort of recreating in the water. I don't know if you saw those videos on YouTube of people like jumping in, waterskiing in it. But, some of those people may have residual issues as a result.Dr. Vincent Honrubia - That's correct. You know just like people are getting these chronic skin infections and things like that, the sinuses are open cavities that aren't supposed to be exposed to this type of bacteria. And one of the things we do with this procedures not only we open and clean the sinuses, but we also rinse the sinuses out.Jennifer Broome - So talk a little bit about the procedure because this is designed to be minimally invasive, this isn't to give you a bunch of downtime, later.Dr. Vincent Honrubia - Correct. This is a procedure done in the office that takes about 20 to 25 minutes. It's done with anesthesia, with an anesthesia provider there, using small balloon catheters to go into the sinuses open the sinuses through their natural opening, and at the same time rinse out the chronic infection that sits in the sinus.Derrick Shore - So, when you say anesthesia, you're not like totally out right? It's not general anesthesia?Dr. Vincent Honrubia - It's not general anesthesia. It's IV sedation.Derrick Shore - So you are awake during the process. We're seeing some video actually behind you. So, as you mentioned that tiny little balloon flips up there.Dr. Vincent Honrubia - Right, the tiny little balloon goes in. It then it opens the sinus by pushing away and creating space by compressing tissue in certain positions. And then after that's done, we rinse it, clean the sinus out. So when you do have the procedure, this procedure in our office with the Honrubia technique, you are not conscious that you're having the procedure so there's no pain, no discomfort but people can return to work the next day. There's no bleeding, there's no bruising, there's no indication you had a procedure done.Jennifer Broome - How does somebody know, if what they're going through it's just kind of seasonal stuff, seasonal allergies or if they really do maybe need something like this?Dr. Vincent Honrubia - Well, I think in the past before this incident, it was easy to tell because you'd be in a long-term situation where you're chronically taking medications over and over. Now it's gonna be very hard to tell especially if you didn't have any sinus problems before and now you're having a problem it's gonna be hard to tell without having someone examine you, do a cat scan, study what's going on if you really have some acute unusual bacteria, bacteria in your sinuses it's hard to figure that out without professional advice.Derrick Shore - And Dr. Honorubia, we've spoken you've been on the show before, but it's interesting I've heard from your clients say I can't believe I waited so long to do something like this, it made such a difference and I think many of us who maybe are a little adverse or averse rather, to having any sort of surgery done. This is an outpatient procedure, there's no pain, you've done more than 3000 of these surgeries, so there's really not a lot to worry about.Dr. Vincent Honrubia - Right, not a lot to worry about. Covered by your insurance; not a lot to worry about. People turn to work very very soon after the procedure and we have a long track record of working well with the patients, getting good results, publishing our data. We're very open about what we're doing.Derrick Shore - So instead of just continuing to live with the symptoms, people can go in, and actually we're seeing some video right now of the office. I mean how much time would someone expect to pass until they're breathing normally again?Dr. Vincent Honrubia - People come in with this procedure, you see them they're getting the cat scan on the TV, but what they do is they come in, they get scanned they get examined, the procedure like I said it happens in the mornings, often patients go to work the following day, some patients have gone to work the same day. That's depending on how bad they want to go to work, but like I said, it's a minimally invasive, effective way of treating your sinusitis. Getting you off medications, cleaning your sinuses out, give you a peace of mind that you can do well and have good results with a very minimally invasive procedure.Jennifer Broome - Do you hear from people that this really is life-changing for them, you know from that life of the Sudafed and the Advil and all of that to keep the pain and pressure down and now they can breathe again?Dr. Vincent Honrubia - I have patients that after they have the procedure they ask the nurse to lay them flat and they'll breathe through their nose for the first time, laying flat and they'll cry because I've never breathed through my nose laying flat, ever. Whenever I went to sleep, I was snoring, I couldn't breathe. I've seen 250 pound men lay flat and start crying; I can breathe through my nose. So it is a very dramatic thing once your nose is open, you can breath better, less headaches, less drainage, less infections, better sleeping patterns.Derrick Shore - You mentioned the headaches too, it's not just about breathing. A lot of people have that pressure that leads to headaches, that really can distract you from your day and be debilitating.Dr. Vincent Honrubia - That's correct. So people that have chronic facial pain, headaches, drainage, even ear symptoms, ear popping, you do balloons with the ears as well. So there's a variety of symptoms that you may not think connect to your sinuses but they are. Smell issues, headaches, sleeping problems, ear popping, sore throat, clearing the throat, all those can be related to the sinusis.Derrick Shore - All connected. You guys are doing something really cool. You're donating $10 of every co-pay toward the Harvey Relief Fund right?Dr. Vincent Honrubia - Right, so we try to give some relief to the citizens of Houston. We're taking $10 of each co-pay from each patient a donate the Hurricane Relief Fund here locally in Houston.Jennifer Broome - And this is so easy. If you want more information, you want to talk about if this is right for you, you want to schedule an appointment, all you have to do is call 713-balloon,713-225-5666. You can also visit online. You guys have a really informative website online at americansinus.com. So that was really, it's really helpful.Derrick Shore - Yeah! worth looking into, for sure. Because I know when I moved to Houston I suddenly started having these issues.Jennifer Broome - It's a different world here. Air quality's not the best, we have all these allergens and now these people have been in their houses cleaning out mold and drywall of the last couple of weeks.Dr. Vincent Honrubia - Mold is a big deal in the sinuses; it's a big deal, it's bad. Sinuses do not like moldDerrick Shore - Dr. Honrubia, thank you so much for stopping by.Dr. Vincent Honrubia - Thank you for having me.Symptom Checker