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Janice Savage-Martin – Sinus Surgery Success Story

Sinus Surgery: 01 Sinus Problems: 00

Janice Savage-Martin – Sinus Surgery Success Story A laser sinus procedure at Methodist Dallas relieved
Janice Savage-Martin's headaches and breathing problems
and helped her return to her active life, including
volunteering at Duncanville High School home football
games with her husband, Steve Martin.

Laser sinus surgery patient Janice Savage-Martin tells her story
On any fall Friday night, you'll likely find Janice Savage-Martin volunteering at the Duncanville High School football games. She's the person behind much of the changing information seen on the home stadium scoreboard. She and her husband, Steve Martin, president and CEO of the city's chamber of commerce, are busy professionals and active community volunteers - always on the go.

"We make a good team and are very involved because we love our community, have fun, and like giving back," Savage- Martin says.

But lately, impaired breathing, congestion, and headaches began to interfere with her plans and make life miserable. "In my 20s, I started having what felt like migraine headaches occasionally, but it seemed seasonal, so I thought about possible sinus causes," says the fifth-generation Duncanville resident. "It just got progressively worse as years went by."

Like many people, she couldn't pinpoint the cause and simply coped as best she could. But when the severe headaches increased, she sought help.

Overcoming unbearable pain

"I was having two or three serious headaches per week and missing work," Savage-Martin says. "Along with the headaches was pain like a sword across the side of my face, nose, and eyes – like the sharpest pain in the world. It was bad."

She scheduled an appointment with Rene Pena Jr., MD, an independently practicing otolaryngologist on the medical staff at Methodist Charlton Medical Center.

"He examined me and could tell pretty quickly that I had a deviated septum, a nasal obstruction, and something I'd never heard of before – turbinates," she says with a laugh.

Dr. Pena explains: "Turbinates are structures in the nose that expand and contract in response to irritants, humidity, infection, and other factors. When the turbinates are swollen, they narrow the nasal passages, making it more difficult for air to get in or for mucus to get out. This can cause congestion and breathing problems."

Savage-Martin admits to hearing old horror stories of nasal surgeries, painful recoveries, and uncomfortable postsurgical nasal packing. But she learned there were newer, better options
and chose an innovative procedure called septoplasty.

"The 15-minute procedure shrinks the blood vessels in the turbinates with a laser and prevents them from swelling up," Dr. Pena says. "Patients generally go home in about an hour,
and most recover within two days and start noticing a gradual improvement in congestion at about two weeks."

Big wins after surgery

"Don't listen to those old stories," Savage-Martin says. "You shouldn't have to suffer." Since her surgery and quick recovery, she hasn't.

"It has really helped," she says. "A fellow Lions Club member asked if I would do the surgery over again after my experience, and I immediately said, 'In a minute!' Now, it's just wonderful."

Savage-Martin plans to continue her service for those home football and basketball games.

"I'll be there," she says firmly with a big smile. "And I won't have a problem with headaches."