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Patient Story

For 62-year-old Ted Christian, whose temporary vision loss was attributed to a pituitary tumor, there was a silver lining. After researching his options, he found that the new, less invasive procedure was done at Norfolk General.

“I was very comfortable with all of the resources here,“ Christian said. “The doctors are very skillful and confident, and they had a way of making me very comfortable,” he continued.

“Now people can stay closer to home, when before they may have left the area for this expertise,” says Dr. Joseph Han, ear, nose and throat surgeon who has done about a hundred of these cases during his career. “A study we’ve just completed now proves what’s been suspected for some time. Patients who have this procedure done endoscopically versus the traditional surgery do experience less pain, shorter stays, and much less bleeding,” continues Han.

Called natural orifice surgery, this technique goes a step beyond minimally invasive surgery. Doctors around the country are beginning to use the body’s natural passageways—like the sinuses — as the most direct route to some tumors, glands, and organs. With much less cutting required, this new surgical option often dramatically improves outcomes and overall recovery time.

“I went home within 24 hours with absolutely no pain. It was quite incredible that I felt that good so soon after surgery,” Christian said.

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