Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I make an appointment?

Alabama Nasal and Sinus Center
St. Vincent 's Health and Wellness
7191 Cahaba Valley Road, Suite 301,
Birmingham , Al 35242 83706

Phone: (205) 980-2091
Toll Free: (866) 980-2091

Monday:
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday:
Friday:
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Appointments

We know you have many choices when choosing an Otolaryngologist in the greater Birmingham area, so we have made requesting an appointment a simple process via our Web site. If, for any reason, you cannot keep a scheduled appointment or will be delayed, please call as soon as possible.  Thank you for choosing Alabama Nasal and Sinus Center.

What should you bring to your appointment?

We want to answer as many of your questions as need at your visit so that you will have a good understaning of your condition and treatment options.
Please help us prepare by bringing the following information:
  1. Health Insurance Card/Information
  2. A friend or family member to take notes/help with questions
  3. A list of all medications you are taking
  4. A list of your questions /concerns
  5. A copy of your CT scans & MRI (please bring your actual films in addition to the reports)
  6. Copies of records from doctors related to your sinuses/nose/allergies/lungs.
  7. Completed FORMS (click the links below to download) or you can fax your COMPLETED FORMS prior to your visit to (205) 980-2196
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Click here to download it.

What to Expect After Sinus Surgery

Many studies have demonstrated that the vast majority of patients who undergo endoscopic sinus surgery are ultimately very satisfied with their results. As with all surgeries there is a convalescent period after this procedure, although it is usually much milder now than in years past with the advent of endoscopes, minimally invasive procedures and smaller or absorbable packs. This recovery period can vary greatly depending on the extent of surgery, the use of nasal packing and the individual patient.

Patients will often experience blood-tinged discharge during the first day or two after surgery. This is normal, and by keeping the head elevated above the heart (a recliner works very well) this symptom will be minimized. Discomfort is generally well managed with pain medications prescribed by your surgeon. All patients will experience some degree of congestion or nasal obstruction, and this will be significantly improved once any nasal packing or splints are removed. In addition, patients may notice postnasal drainage, headaches, and fatigue that is most noticeable the first few days after the surgery and gradually resolves completely over the ensuing weeks. Many of these symptoms will mimic those of a sinus infection until this healing process is complete.

Patients should avoid strenuous activities and medications that predispose to bleeding (aspirin, ibuprofen, certain herbal remedies) for at least two weeks after surgery or until the healing process is complete. Time off work varies from several days to even weeks depending on the patient's occupation and the extent of surgery, and this should be discussed with your physician.

The postoperative care may be as important as the surgery itself. Sinus surgeons usually schedule frequent postoperative visits to clean the sinus cavities and ensure that they are patent, healing well and are without scarring. In addition, the surgeon will often have patients on a regimen to clean the sinus cavities at home although this varies greatly from physician to physician. For most patients, following the routine set forth by the sinus surgeon leads to excellent long-term results and patient satisfaction!

What does an ENT do?

An ENT, or otolaryngologist, is a physician who treats disorders of the ears, nose, sinuses, throat and mouth, head and neck.  We employ both medical and surgical modalities to treat these types of problems.  This website can give you much more detailed information regarding the various diseases and procedures addressed by ENT's.

Do I need a referral from my primary physician to see the ENT doctor?

Generally speaking, the answer is no.  However, you may want to check with your health insurance provider prior to scheduling an appointment to be sure.

What insurances do you take?

We take Blue Cross, Medicare, United Healthcare, and all other major medical plans.  There are some smaller companies that we are not affiliated with.  To be sure, ask our receptionist to check for you or you can call your health insurance company directly.

Do you see children?

Yes.  Dr. Sillers will see children over six (6) years of age.  Dr. Lay will see children of all ages.

How soon can I get an appointment?

Generally, you can get an appointment within a few weeks at most.  Since Dr. Lay is new to the practice, many times you can get in to see him within a few days.

How much does an office visit cost?

Your out of pocket expense for an office visit will depend upon the details of your insurance plan's co-pay requirements.  The actual cost of the visit will depend upon the complexity of medical decision making required for your problem and any procedures required to make a diagnosis or provide therapy.

How do you get to your office?

Our office is located in Suite 301 of the St. Vincent's One Nineteen Health and Wellness Center, located at 7191 Cahaba Valley Road.  If you are traveling along Highway 280, turn onto Highway 119 (which is Cahaba Valley Road), headed towards Leeds/Lake Purdy.  Turn right at the first stop light onto Greystone Way.  The Health and Wellness Center will be on your left.  Go in the main entrance, turn right at the information desk to the elevators.  Take the elevators to the third floor.  When you come off the elevator, our office is directly in front of you.

Do you do balloon sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty is a procedure that we do in the appropriate cases.  Please visit our service page to get more information.

Do you have CT and/or radiology close by your office?

Yes.  We have a CT scanner in our office for imaging sinuses and temporal bones (where the ear is located).  In addition, just down stairs is a full radiology department capable of plain film X-ray, CT, and MRI.

What procedures do you do in the office?

We perform a variety of in-office procedures.  The most common ones are nasal endoscopy, fiberoptic laryngoscopy, myringotomy and tube placement, audiograms, tympanograms, sinus CTs, and excision of minor skin lesions of the head and neck region.

Do I have to see the doctor for sinus infection?

In the first ten days of sinus symptoms, generally, we consider the "sinusitis" to be viral and self-limiting.  Thus, you may treat with saline nasal spray and over-the-counter cold remedies.  Symptoms that persist beyond ten days, or symptoms that worsen after a few days, need to be evaluated by the physician.

Will my surgery require overnight stay in the hospital?

Most of the time, the surgeries we perform allow the patient to return home on the day of surgery.  Tympanostomy tubes, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, septoplasty, and endoscopic sinus surgeries are all generally done on an outpatient basis.  Each patient circumstance is different and we carefully consider your situation and the risks of the surgery to determine what is best for you.

Should my ears hurt after tonsillectomy?

Yes.  It is very common for your ears to ache after tonsillectomy.  This is because the nerves that innervate the tonsil bed also innervate the ear canal.  When these nerves are exposed and irritated by the surgery, they generalize the pain sensation to the ears as well as the throat.

When do I use the nasal spray given to me after sinus surgery?

You are likely to receive some oxymetazoline (Afrin) spray after your nasal/sinus surgery.  You should use this spray as needed within the first three days after surgery for light bleeding or severe nasal congestion.  If after three days you are still having severe obstruction or bleeding, please call us so that we can discuss how best to manage those issues.

When do I start saline rinses after nasal or sinus surgery?

Usually, we want a patient to start using saline spray or rinse the day after surgery.  The saline should be used two or three times a day, until you are seen in the office for follow-up.

Can I lie flat after sinus surgery?

Yes.  There is no contraindication for lying flat after surgery.  However, you may be more comfortable and tolerate the increased nasal drainage you will likely have better  if you sleep with your head elevated for 2-3 nights after surgery.

When can I return to work after sinus surgery?

Your doctor is likely to give you precise recommendations regarding return to work at the time of your clinical evaluation.  Generally, no heavy lifting or vigorous exercise is recommended for at least one, and many times, two weeks after surgery.