New stent device stops pain after sinus surgery

Congestion, headaches, and sinus infections burden the lives of nearly 30 million Americans suffering from chronic sinusitis each year. For Lizette Serrano, relentless allergies and asthma attacks led to her developing nasal polyps.

“It makes it more difficult to breathe,” Serrano, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., told “I get very dizzy and lightheaded. So it’s a struggle and it can get depressing at times.”

Two sinus surgeries did not stop polyps from returning, and Serrano was left with severe scar tissue in her nasal cavities.

During sinus surgery, doctors widen the openings to the sinus cavities to remove blockages and allow the cavities to drain. Doctors often use gauze to keep the sinus cavities open post-surgery, but it must stay in place for about a week and can be extremely painful.

“You have that constant feeling like you want to blow your nose, and there’s no way you can do that,” Serrano said.

Dr. Roheen Raithatha, an otolaryngologist at ENT & Allergy Associates in New York City, tried something different to make Serrano’s third surgery more comfortable. Raithatha used a new device called Propel to help Serrano heal better.

“There’ve been many clinical trials that have shown that [the] Propel stent reduces scar tissue formation, reduces adhesions, reduces lateralization of that middle turbinate, which can prevent the need for future sinus surgery down the line,” Raithatha told, “and it also reduces the need of oral steroids.”

Propel is a spring-like stent that keeps the sinus cavities open without using packing material.

“We place it into the nose, into the ethmoid sinus cavity, and we deploy it,” Raithatha said. “It actually springs open once it’s deployed, to put radial pressure on the middle turbinate.”

Propel keeps the cavity open for roughly 30 days and releases steroids to reduce post-surgery swelling until the device dissolves.

“When I woke up this time around, I was able to breathe,” Serrano said. “I didn’t have any packing in my nose.”

Raithatha uses Propel for all of his sinus surgeries.

For more information about Propel, visit