North East Connected

Sinus sufferers breathe easy with pioneering balloon treatment

For many people who suffer from hay fever, asthma or chronic sinus problems, the summer months can be a painful and in extreme cases, debilitating time of year.

A North East private healthcare provider is helping to turn this around with the provision of a pioneering sinus treatment, designed to alleviate symptoms of sinusitis such as breathing difficulties, facial pain and a runny or congested nose, and even problems with the sense of smell and taste.

Offering a range of specialist Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) procedures to patients, Nuffield Health Tees Hospital has established itself as an all-encompassing treatment centre for sinus related conditions. Unique to the North East, it offers both state of the art balloon sinus treatments and image guided procedures, allowing the surgeon to navigate the sinuses more accurately and safely from CT scan images.

Rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in October 2017, the Stockton-on-Tees based hospital has been delivering successful sinus treatments in the North East for the last eight years under the specialist care of ENT consultant, Mr David Lowe.

Mr Lowe performs a safe and effective procedure for the long-lasting treatment of the majority of nose and sinus conditions called a balloon-assisted sinus surgery, which uses a small balloon inflated inside the nasal cavity to open the patient’s natural breathing pathways and drain away excess fluid.

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, balloon-assisted sinus surgery may incorporate the use of image guidance systems and advanced techniques for the removal of nasal polyps, which are often minimally invasive and boast much faster recovery times than traditional sinus surgeries.

“Balloon-assisted sinus surgery is a highly-effective alternative to traditional sinus surgery,” Mr Lowe explained.

“Using cutting-edge technologies, we can perform what was once a very delicate surgery with more precision, in less time, with fewer complications and a higher success rate under either Local or General anaesthetic.

“97 per cent of patients who have undergone our balloon-assisted sinus procedures have seen remarkable improvements in their symptoms.

“Sinusitis can be incredibly hard to diagnose with many patients waiting up to five years for a referral. If you’re suffering with chronic sinusitis or breathing related conditions such as asthma, you may wish to consider balloon-assisted sinus surgery as a viable option to get some relief and improve your quality of life.”

One patient who has seen a dramatic improvement since receiving their treatment at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital with Mr Lowe is Caroline Richardson. Caroline works at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital as a scrub team leader and decided to have balloon-assisted sinus surgery having had limited success with traditional surgery in the past.

“For years I have suffered with facial pain, headaches, sensitive teeth, a loss of taste and a blocked nose as a result of sinusitis,” Caroline explained.

“Having had limited results with traditional sinus surgery, I decided to opt for balloon-assisted sinus surgery in an attempt to finally get some relief. I was referred to Mr Lowe for the treatment through my GP and within weeks, I had my consultation and then underwent the procedure.

“I am absolutely over the moon with the results. Before the treatment, my headaches used to leave me bed bound for days at a time but now, I get no headaches at all and any colds I get clear up much faster than they used to. I have no congestion and much less facial pain because my nose works as it should!

“Having witnessed this treatment on both sides of the fence, as a patient and as a medical professional, I can highly recommend it first-hand.”

Lesley Lock, hospital director at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, said:

“We are incredibly proud to offer such a comprehensive range of treatments for sinus patients at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital. Mr Lowe’s expertise combined with our pioneering technologies have helped to establish the hospital as a centre of excellence for Ear, Nose and Throat treatments.

“We are the only private hospital in the North East and the only one outside of London to have the Medtronic Fusion equipment for performing complex balloon-assisted procedures permanently located within the hospital.

“So far, we have attracted patients from as far afield as France and Ireland to receive balloon-assisted treatments and we hope to extend this further and continue to help more people to live a better quality of life, free from sinus problems.”

To find out more about the range of treatments available at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, visit

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