South Texas Sinus Institute, located in San Antonio, is expanding and becoming American Sinus Institute (ASI) to provide patients with the latest balloon sinuplasty technology for treatment of chronic sinusitis. While the original Edinburg facility will continue to operate under the name South Texas Sinus Institute, future expansion will be under the American Sinus Institute brand name. Expansion plans include the opening of American Sinus Institute-Houston in September 2015 with additional locations in Dallas and Austin planned for early 2016. Further expansion is expected across Texas in 2017 and then other locations across the United States.
South Texas Sinus Institute (STSI) was originally founded more than a decade ago in Edinburg, Texas. From Edinburg, STSI embarked on establishing themselves in San Antonio. Their success was immediate and their growth exponential. Over the past three years, physicians at the Edinburg and San Antonio medical facilities have completed the most balloon sinuplasty procedures in the state of Texas.
Balloon Sinuplasty Innovation
Sinusitis affects approximately 37 million people in the U.S. each year. This equates to roughly 17 percent of women and 10 percent of men each year. These sinus problems are estimated to impact 73 million days per year of restricted activities and result in 18 million physician office visits. Balloon sinuplasty is an effective solution for many of these individuals suffering from chronic sinusitis.
Balloon sinuplasty is a non-invasive procedure in which doctors utilize a balloon catheter to expand and clear sinus passageways. The procedure involves compressing tissue to create space versus traditional sinus surgery done with surgical instruments. Balloon sinuplasty is a superior approach to addressing many sinus problems that manifest in the sinus symptoms.
Compared with traditional sinus surgery where removal of tissue can create bleeding and scarring, with balloon sinuplasty procedure, bleeding and scarring doesn’t occur since tissue is compressed and not eliminated, according to Founding Director Vincent F. Honrubia, M.D., F.A.C.S.
The balloon procedure is considered state-of-the-art when it comes to relieving sinus problems, and Dr. Vincent Honrubia has taken it a step further. His “Honrubia Technique” utilizes the latest sinus balloon technology and supporting equipment, coupled with general anesthesia and a state of the art medical facility that allows for a more complete procedure and thus better patient results.
“We have done several thousand balloon sinuplasty procedures between our ASI San Antonio medical facility and our STSI medical facility in Edinburg”– Jim Havelka, ASI CEO
ASI has emerged as an effective solution for sinusitis patients. By establishing centers that are solely dedicated to the balloon sinuplasty procedure, Honrubia believes ASI has emerged as a practice that not only emphasizes highly specialized care, but also offers a level of innovation unsurpassed among competitors. “We are the first ones we know of that have opened to fill a need, which is to only do that one procedure, balloon sinuplasty,” Honrubia said. “That’s our number one priority. ASI is the only place you can go, where the whole facility is aimed toward one procedure. I don’t know of any other medical facility that does.”
Dr. Honrubia has trained a team of board-certified ENT physicians in the Honrubia Technique for balloon sinuplasty; they know what questions to ask so that patients can move forward with a better quality of life, and they have the technical skill to achieve it.
According to ASI CEO Jim Havelka, “We have done several thousand balloon sinuplasty procedures between our ASI San Antonio medical facility and our STSI medical facility in Edinburg. Based on that volume, we are the largest medical provider of the balloon sinuplasty procedure in Texas.”
Solving Sinus Problems
For those patients who are visiting their regular doctor every three months for injections of steroids or steroid pills, there is now an option. Patients will no longer have to rely on steroid injections, which are typically reserved for serious inflammation issues rather than allergy cases, according to ASI Medical Director Dr. Vincent Honrubia.
“We want to change the mentality of the patient when it comes to sinus problems…They can come to the experts immediately”– Dr. Vincent F. Honrubia, F.A.C.S
“We are a highly specialized facility providing long term relief of sinus problems. Many of our patients come to us after having been on many rounds of antibiotics, steroids and nasal spray over and over without ever solving the problem,” Honrubia said. “We have seen it many times from our patients, who have been treated by their primary doctor for years. These patients have never been told that there is an option that may provide longer term sinus relief. Additionally, for allergy sufferers, the balloon procedure can change the way your body reacts to the allergy by giving you more space in the sinuses,” Dr. Honrubia said. “We want to change the mentality of the patient when it comes to sinus problems. If they have a sinus problem, they can go to the sinus doctor without having to go to a family doctor,” he said. “They can come to the experts immediately.”
Improving the Patient Experience
During the initial consultation with the patient, the ASI physicians review the patient’s symptoms and learn more about the specific ailment. After doing a thorough examination and patient history, doctors create a specific treatment plan catered to the patient’s needs. Through the balloon sinuplasty procedure, patients can finally find relief from chronic sinusitis.
“Our medical facilities are not an operating room, and we are not an outpatient surgery center. Rather, it’s a blend between an out-patient surgery center and a medical office. Our medical facilities are staffed with highly skilled physicians, RNs, CT technicians and medical support staff. Our medical facilities and professional staff are optimized for the balloon sinuplasty procedure. It’s very hard to compete with us because we have a more efficient and effective facility and balloon sinuplasty methodology,” said ASI CEO Jim Havelka.
ASI aspires to become the leading balloon sinuplasty facility in the country providing relief to the many individuals suffering from sinus problems. When someone thinks balloon sinuplasty, they will think of the American Sinus Institute. The combination of the Honrubia Technique for balloon sinuplasty, board-certified ENT physicians, our partnership with market leader Johnson & Johnson-Acclarent and our state-of-the-art medical facilities to ensure patient results have led to our success,” says ASI CEO Jim Havelka.
“I think what is reflective is that the market has responded very positively to our medical services because of the success we have had with our patients,” Havelka said. “We are able to show a demonstrated track record of improved sinus outcomes for patients who come to our facility. That’s the measure of success for our clients and our business.”
ASI Is A Leader In Contributing to Scientific Studies
ASI has begun publishing its results; in September 2015, two papers will be presented at a national conference for the American Academy of Otolaryngology, a yearly meeting for ENT doctors. Additionally, through a study called OASIS, which is funded by Johnson & Johnson, ASI has become one of the few medical facilities collecting scientific data comparing balloon sinus procedures with traditional sinus surgery.
“We are part of a very select group of medical facilities that are participating in the Johnson & Johnson OASIS study. Not only are we providing a new and innovative technique, we are constantly learning from what we are doing, and trying to improve our procedures by examining the scientific data,” Honrubia said. “We evaluate the procedure data from pre- and post-balloon sinuplasty sinus symptoms, revision rates, complication rates and our patient satisfaction surveys. We have very sophisticated methods in place to monitor our progress of how we are doing with the patients.”
ASI Going Forward
Given the large number of patients looking for longer term relief from sinus problems, American Sinus Institute expects to continue its strong growth across Texas and then across the country. “At the end of the day, patients are our best referral source. This is based on the outcomes they realize by coming to our medical facility and our team of board-certified ENT physicians,” according to ASI CEO Jim Havelka. “When our patients leave our office feeling better than when they arrived, this is the best marketing for our business.”
For more information visit ASI’s San Antonio office at 6363 De Zavala Road, Suite 200 or call 210.225.5666. Find ASI online at AmericanSinus.com.
You can also contact ASI’s Houston office at 1801 Binz Street, Suite 400 or call 713.225.5666. Find ASI online at AmericanSinus.com.
You can also contact STSI Edinburg office at 2821 Michaelangelo Drive, Suite 201 or call 855.99.SINUS. Find STSI online at Southtexassinusinstitute.com.
All Photos By Jennifer Hamilton of Mamarazzi Photography.