For years, Donald Shatner was stuffed up, couldn't breathe through his nose and had difficulty sleeping at night.
In fact, the problem became so severe that the 62-year-old was uncomfortable most of the time. He tried various medications and over-the-counter remedies without success.
His primary care physician recommended that he visit T.K. Venkatesan, M.D., a board-certified ear, nose and throat specialist at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center.
Complete Nasal Blockage
Shatner had a comprehensive in-office examination that showed a complete nasal blockage from deformed cartilage and bone, and a collapsed nasal valve. Dr. Venkatesan prescribed a nasal spray for a few months, which provided temporary relief.
"It was bothering me a lot," said Shatner, an Albany Park resident. "The doctor said the only way to correct the problem was to do surgery."
In 2009, the retired general contractor had nasal reconstructive surgery* to open the passageways. Dr. Venkatesan performed a minimally invasive procedure to straighten out the bent cartilage and bone. He placed a stitch under Shatner's skin to permanently hold open his nasal-valve area so the patient could breathe better.
"I thought the surgery would be a lot of pain and suffering, but it was not that bad at all," not at all," Shatner said. "Everything worked out fine. I can't say how satisfied I am - Dr. Venkatesan did a marvelous job."
Liked Doctor's Upfront Approach
Since surgery, the 62-year-old breathes and sleeps better. He liked the doctor's upfront approach in presenting information. "Dr. Venkatesan gets to the point and I like that," Shatner said. "He tries to solve things before making a decision to do surgery."
Shatner visited the physician in winter 2010 for a follow-up appointment and things are going well.
"I can't describe how happy the doctor has made me," Shatner said. "I couldn't smell flowers - I didn't know how bad things were until it was fixed."
*Note: Shatner did not have surgery at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth.