• Pamela Froman

Dr. Marc Kerner

Judy Lucove was experiencing an all too common problem. Her nose was always stopped up and she had chronic sinus infections and sinus headaches. It was truly affecting her life. In addition to these issues she was also suffering a persistent cough.

She was referred to Dr. Marc Kerner, a sinus surgeon based in Northridge. Dr. Kerner has a practice unlike virtually any other in the nation. He offers highly experienced, trained specialists using state-of-the-art, on-site diagnostics including CT imaging, nasal endoscope and allergy testing. They provide individualized treatments that produce highly effective, lasting results and also offer the latest cosmetic solutions for nasal reconstruction and enhancement.

“The most common thing that we deal with are people that have either recurrent or acute sinus infections or chronic sinus infections,” says Dr. Kerner. “People that have recurrent infections are those that basically get multiple sinus infections per year, and it clears in between, and then there are people that have a chronic problem of acute sinusitis where they have facial pain, pressure, congestion, post nasal drip, inability to breathe through their nose, intermittent acute infections, severe pain or pressure, a runny nose and even a low grade fever.”

If you are stuck constantly taking medications such as nasal sprays, decongestants, steroid sprays, antihistamines with little or no relief then Dr. Kerner has the solution for you – balloon sinuplasty.

“Judy was having recurrent sinus infections and also some symptoms of chronic sinusitis, and I felt she was a candidate for the balloon procedure,” says Dr. Kerner. “We were able to do the treatment in the office where we enlarged the sinus opening and we were able to restructure some of the anatomy. It worked. She's been disease free now for over a year.”

What is balloon sinuplasty? Ballon sinuplasty is technology that Dr. Kerner developed about 10 years ago. One of the reasons you get sinus infections is that your nasal cavities become infected, swollen and inflamed. The soft tissue becomes diseased or blocked from repeated infections, polyps or allergies and can't heal itself.

The theory behind balloon sinuplasty is to enlarge the opening of the sinus cavities and maintain them that way so when you get a cold or you have an allergic flareup the swelling doesn't cause a complete blockage and you then won't get an infection. The balloon technology allows the tissue to dilate with the balloon similar to what cardiologists do with unblocking narrow arteries.

“I'm unblocking sinus drainage cavities. The reason it stays open is they are lined with very thin bone and mucous,” says Dr. Kerner. “When we expand the balloon it creates these radial micro fractures in the bone, which allows that to heal and get in position. So we put the balloon in, we dilate those openings, we hold the balloon in there for a few seconds, then take the balloon out. The procedure is in the office under local anesthesia – it's revolutionizing sinus disease.”

The plan behind balloon sinuplasty is that it's a minimally invasive technology to unblock sinuses to avoid aggressive surgery. Originally, the theory on sinus disease was that you would remove all of the unhealthy normal tissue and hope that whatever healed in its place was going to be better.

“What we found out was that this wasn't really correct,” says Dr. Kerner. “The membrane and tissues we were given are actually best preserved. Maximal normal tissue preservation allows the sinus to heal. The key is to help them heal by enlarging those openings, allowing the membrane there to regenerate properly which then results in a better outcome.”

Judy has nothing but good things to say about Dr. Kerner. “He's so easy to be with, he's just like meeting an old friend – very calming, relaxed, and knowledgable,” she says. “It's been a blessing. I've never been better.”

Dr. Kerner's practice is located at 18350 Roscoe Boulevard Suite 318, in Northridge. Call for an appointment at (818) 349-0600 or for more information log onto

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