For the first time in several years, Carrie Owen can smell and taste.
Now, even the aroma of a skunk is lovely to her.
“I can’t tell you the last time I could smell and taste,” Owen said. “I’ve been testing it out on different things like peppermint essential oil, and even a skunk!”
Previously, the teacher from College Station suffered from constant headaches, a stuffy nose, runny eyes and frequent sinus infections.
She also had polyps inside of her nose that made breathing difficult. Nasal polyps are inflammatory growths along the lining of nose passages or sinuses that can cause congestion.
Owen had surgery more than a year ago to remove the polyps in hopes of opening up her nasal passages. That worked–for a while–until the growths returned.
Her physician presented her with two options: Have the surgery again, or see Martin Citardi, M.D., at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for a second opinion.
Citardi, chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and an attending physician at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, told her she was a candidate for the SINUVA Sinus Implant, a new approach to treating nasal polyp disease in adult patients who have had previous sinus surgery.
Statistics vary on the number of sinus surgeries performed in the U.S.—somewhere between 300,000 and 600,000 each year—but those numbers don’t account for repeat surgeries.
The SINUVA implant was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2017. In March, Owen had an implant placed into each nostril at Citardi’s UT Physicians Otorhinolaryngology clinic.
He said the implant delivers an anti-inflammatory steroid for 90 days and also helps reduce the size of polyps in the nose, which helps Owen’s nasal passages open up more.
When her smell and taste returned, she sought to eat her favorite foods: crawfish and King Cake.
“It was wonderful,” Owen said.
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The SINUVA implants—inserted without surgery—have proved to be a more effective option for Owen, and have resulted in an improvement in her everyday life.
In addition to being taken off some of her daily steroid and antibiotic prescriptions, her treatment routine is now as simple as flushing out her nose with a rinse. And, she no longer has the headaches.
“I was able to walk in and walk out with a better quality of life,” she added. “It was like having a bandage put on or a shot.”
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is @USArmy Veteran Elvis Arthur Mason. https://t.co/ij3B2SLLlk
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Elvis Arthur Mason. Arthur served from 1942 to 1946 and 1950 to 1952. Elvis was born in October 1921 in Elberfeld, Indiana. He moved to Oakland City, Indiana and was drafted into the Army at the age of 20. Elvis completed basic training at Camp Swift, Texas and was assigned to an infantry regiment. He also completed swamp training, desert training and mountain training in Louisiana, California and West Virginia, respectively. Elvis’s unit was deployed to Europe and landed in England shortly after D-Day. Elvis traveled to France and volunteered to drive gasoline to other allied camps. His unit engaged in combat for 100 consecutive days and moved through France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland to push the German army back. Elvis took over as platoon leader during this campaign and credited the platoon’s camaraderie for helping the soldiers get through the difficult time. Elvis briefly remained in Europe after Germany surrendered and participated in the liberation of a poorly maintained camp of German citizens. He then returned to the United States and was preparing to travel to Japan when the Japanese surrendered in 1945. Elvis continued to serve at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and Camp Butler, North Carolina before he was honorably discharged in December, 1945. He joined the Army reserves and was called to join the Korean War in 1950. He reported to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in October and served in Japan and Korea, where he helped to build roads and airstrips for artillery planes. Elvis was awarded the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. He passed away on July 14, 2012 at the age of 90. We honor his service.
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