Newswise — NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Michael S. Goldrich, MD, FACS, board-certified otolaryngologist at University Otolaryngology Associates and the Department of Otolaryngology at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), recently became the first physician in New Jersey to perform a new procedure called ACCLARENT AERA™ Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation for the treatment of chronic obstruction of the Eustachian tube or Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD). This procedure and the medical equipment utilized during it were approved by the FDA in September 2016 for patients 22 years and older. The treatment is now being offered at RWJUH.

ACCLARENT AERA™ Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation is a minimally invasive technique that allows physicians to precisely access the narrowed opening of the Eustachian tube and insert a balloon catheter through the nose. This balloon is then inflated to dilate the Eustachian tube.

Chronic obstruction of the Eustachian tube is a common ear problem for adults and children that occurs in about 1% of adults and more frequently in children. Eustachian tubes are responsible for equalizing pressure in the middle ear, but when the tube is not functioning properly, patients can experience pain, pressure, a sense of fullness or clogging, ringing in the ear or hearing loss.

Until now, the management of this problem was limited to topical and systemic medications to decongest the nose in hopes of opening the Eustachian tube or through surgical procedures that required placing a ventilation tube through the eardrum to bypass the Eustachian tube. These methods failed to correct the underlying problem and created the potential for patients to develop chronic symptoms, persistent complaints or more serious conditions such as middle ear effusion (when fluid builds up in the middle ear), infections and related long-term complications. This new minimally invasive procedure is a highly effective method that goes right to the source of the problem (the Eustachian tube) and provides patients with the ability to not just manage, but resolve their ETD that creates ear pain, pressure and dulled hearing in those who suffer from the condition.

“This is an exciting moment for patients with chronically clogged ears,” says Dr. Goldrich. “Instead of being bound to use of long-term medications and repeated placement of ventilation tubes in the ears, ACCLARENT AERA™ Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation offers patients the potential to fully resolve their problem rather than just managing it.”

Dr. Goldrich has been recognized as a top doctor by Castle Connelly Best Doctors of the New York Metro Area and Inside Jersey’s Top Doctors.