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Doctors use balloons instead of scalpels for surgery

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BATON ROUGE - Today's procedure is almost a last resort for Anthony Baglio, who told News 2 he suffers from constant sinus pain.

"I would get like sinus infections and I would go to the outpatient. And they'd give me antibiotics, then it might last one week three weeks then I'd get again. I could never find relief, " Baglio explains.

Instead of a traditional sinus surgery, Dr Geoffrey Peters is performing a sinus ballon procedure. During the treatment, Dr. Peters inserts a catheter into the sinus with a balloon attached. When it expands, the blocked sinuses will open up.

The procedure is used on patients who continuously experience sinus issues. Bob Sanders says it worked for him.

"It's been a month and I'm at probably 90 percent better," he said. "I can breath all the time without the blockage."

The FDA approved the procedure back in 2005. Since that time, a growing number of physicians are starting to use the treatment.

"If we do the procedure on a Friday, most patients are back to work on a Monday. Before this was the traditional surgery approach which requires general anesthesia, the patient has to be put to sleep. It's more invasive, it requires tissue removal," Dr. Peters said.

While some are still a little uneasy about this relatively new treatment, patients like Bob Sanders are singing its praises.

"They do it for heart surgeries and everything else, so I figure why not try this instead of the knife and fork version," Sanders said.

Experts say about 1 in 6 Americans experience chronic sinus issues.


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