Kevin Katon was miserable. For more than 20 years he endured pounding headaches, repeated sinus infections, sleep apnea and relentless facial pain and pressure. His nasal passages were so blocked, he could barely draw a breath. “I had chronic sinusitis, and it was like a severe head cold that never went away,” recalls the 51-year-old forecast analyst from South County. “I went to two different doctors and had two surgeries, but they didn’t fix what was wrong.” He was still miserable, suffering up to five severe sinus infections a year and popping antibiotics like they were M&M’s.
Then he heard about Saint Louis University Sinus Institute. “Kevin’s previous surgery had been incomplete—he had anatomical abnormalities in his nose that hadn’t been addressed,” says Dr. Jastin Antisdel, director of the Institute and a member of SLUCare, the physicians of Saint Louis University. “Plus, like most people with sinusitis, he had multiple factors contributing to his condition, including allergies, that needed to be taken into consideration.” Antisdel, chief of the division of rhinology and sinus surgery at SLU, tailored a plan to Katon’s unique needs. “We took care of his structural issues via minimally invasive endoscopic surgery, and we adjusted his medication,” he says. “That did the trick: he hasn’t had problems in more than a year.”
SLU Sinus Institute treats the complete range of sinus problems, from nasal blockage, allergies, recurrent infections, deviated septums and nasal polyps, to brain and eye tumors that can be accessed through the nose. “SLU has been the undisputed regional leader in sinonasal care and surgery for more than 30 years,” says Antisdel, who practices at SLUCare’s midtown offices and Mercy St. Louis. “Our medical and surgical expertise are nationally recognized, and our status as a major research institution allows us to incorporate the latest developments in endoscopic surgery, computer navigation, sublingual immunotherapy and other innovative approaches.”
The institute is known for its accessibility and individualized approach to patient care, Antisdel notes. “We understand that patients are experiencing discomfort or even pain, so our nurse practitioner can see them on a same-day basis and direct them to the best treatment,” he says. Treatment can vary greatly from patient to patient, he adds: “Sinus issues can be tremendously complex—there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to sinusitis, for example. There can be many contributing factors, including immune dysfunction and structural abnormalities. But it takes an expert to understand, diagnose and treat these factors correctly, safely and effectively. We deliver that expertise, resulting in the best possible outcomes for patients under our care.”
Patients like Kevin Katon. “Thanks to Dr. Antisdel and his team at the Sinus Institute, I can breathe again,” he says. “The headaches are gone, the sleep apnea is gone, and I can taste and enjoy food once again. And for the first time in more than 20 years, I got through the entire winter without a single sinus infection.”
By Tony Di Martino
Photo courtesy of SLUCare
Pictured: Dr. Jastin Antisdel and patient Kevin Katon