CHICAGO - A gel made from a patient's own blood reduces painand may improve wound healing following endoscopic sinus surgeryaccording to researchers at Rush University Medical Center. The study,published in the September issue of the Annals of Otology, Rhinologyand Laryngology, found that patients who received platelet gel reportedan easier recovery than patients who received traditional packing tostop bleeding.
The platelet gel is derived from the patient's ownplasma and is made in the operating room. After a small amount of thepatient's blood is drawn, it is put into a centrifuge machine thatseparates out the platelet rich plasma. The fact that the platelet gelis derived from the patient's own blood eliminates the risk of acquireddiseases possible with other pooled blood products. Followingendoscopic surgery, the gel is sprayed into the sinus cavity.
"Thegel is rich in wound factors. It contains platelets for clotting,growth hormones for healing, and white cells to fight infection," saidDr. Jay M. Dutton, study co-author and assistant professor ofotolaryngology at Rush. "It effectively stops the bleeding and mayadvance the healing process."
The plasma gel replaces temporarysponges or sterile packing at the surgical site which, according toDutton, can be uncomfortable, painful and may restrict breathing.Unlike the traditional material, which must be removed after a fewdays, the plasma gel is absorbed into the sinus cavity and eliminatesthe need for painful packing removal.
The study compared 16patients who received platelet gel following surgery with a controlgroup who received traditional packing material. The preliminaryresults found no adverse reactions to the gel. Patients who receivedthe gel reported less pain and an easier recovery than the controlgroup.
Most surgeries on the sinuses are conducted to relievechronic sinusitis or to remove polyps. Endoscopic sinus surgery isperformed using instruments inserted through the nose to removethickened and diseased tissue while disturbing as little healthy tissueas possible. The surgery is typically performed as an outpatientprocedure under general anesthesia. Doctors usually recommend patientsrestrict activity for one to two weeks, although this convalescence maybe reduced in patients utilizing platelet gel.
"I've seen manypatients who really needed sinus surgery, but they were afraid of thepain," said Dutton. "Patients who received the plasma gel wereextremely pleased and surprised. In some cases, patients were askingonly two days later if they could return to work."
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