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John Tarro, MD

Release Date: 09/01/2014

More Americans suffer from sinusitis than diabetes, asthma or coronary heart disease. Sinusitis affects 37 million Americans each year, making it one of the most common health problems.

John Tarro, MD, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist or ENT) at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, has a new treatment option that may help patients diagnosed with chronic sinusitis or have multiple sinus infections per year that are not helped with medications.

Balloon Sinuplasty™ is a breakthrough procedure, available at Memorial Hospital. The procedure relieves the pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis.

Balloon Sinuplasty safely and effectively treats chronic sinusitis patients who are not responding well to medications such as antibiotics, nasal steroids, or over-the-counter drugs, and are seeking relief from uncomfortable and painful sinusitis symptoms.  

"The procedure is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery so it allows most patients to return to normal activities quickly,” Tarro said. “Recovery time varies with each patient, but most patients return to work and normal activity within two days."  

Similar to the way angioplasty uses balloons to open blocked arteries, Balloon Sinuplasty uses a system of FDA-cleared, catheter-based instruments to open blocked sinuses.

During the procedure, a specially-designed catheter is inserted into the patient’s nose to reach the inflamed sinus cavity. A small balloon is slowly inflated, widening and restructuring the walls of the sinus passage, draining mucus from the blocked sinus and restoring normal sinus drainage with no cutting and minimal bleeding. This approach also preserves the natural structure of the sinuses.

Gina Washington of Providence, RI was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis in May 2014. She has suffered from headaches, intranasal congestion and edema which did not respond to medical management.  Gina underwent the Balloon Sinuplasty surgical procedure in July 2014 and she recovered shortly after surgery.  A longtime sinus and headache sufferer, Gina is now pain free.

Mary Lightfoot of Scituate, RI, was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis 3 1/2 years ago. She has suffered from headaches, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, nausea and reduced sense of taste. Mary had the Balloon Sinuplasty surgical procedure in November of 2012 and she recovered shortly after surgery. A lifelong sinusitis sufferer, Mary, is now sinus-pain free.

Most insurance companies and Medicare provide coverage for Balloon Sinuplasty. To learn more or make an appointment, call Dr. Tarro at (401) 728-0140.

About Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island

Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, serves as the major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the chief site for the medical school's primary care academic program. Research focuses on primary care and disease prevention, including osteoarthritis, heart disease, cancer, pulmonary function, maternal and child health and women’s health issues.

Memorial provides health services for the people of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts including oncology, cardiovascular, orthopedics, rehabilitation, pain management, and diagnostics. Memorial offers primary care services in Pawtucket, Central Falls and Plainville, Massachusetts.