Nasal and Sinus Disease Program


The UCLA Nasal and Sinus Disease Programf offers medical and surgical management of allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, and nasal breathing problems associated with allergic and structural problems of the nose.

Program Experience

Nasal and Sinus Disease Center at UCLA Division of Head and Neck Surgery

As an integrated program involving otolaryngologists and allergists, the UCLA Nasal and Sinus Disease Program provides a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the medical and surgical management of nasal and sinus problems. Research protocols investigating new pharmaceutical agents, alternative East-West integrated medical therapy, and specialized endoscopic surgical procedures are therapeutic options for patients who have profven refractory to standard medical therapies.

Do you have sinusitis?
Symptoms of sinusitis include: nasal congestion, sinus pressure and pain, nasal discharge, post-nasal drip, difficulty breathing out of the nose, tooth pain, and headaches.

Do you have allergies?
Symptoms of allergy include: itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, fatigue, eye and facial swelling.

Program Approach

Patients are evaluated in an initial consultation by an otolaryngologist and an allergist. A complete medical history is obtained, with emphasis on allergy and sinus issues.  A full review of work and home environments is conducted.   A full examination of the head and neck is performed, and may include endoscopic examination of the nasal cavity and sinuses.

Medical management may involve the use of antibiotics, antihistamine-decongestants, saline irrigation, and nasal steroids. For appropriate patients, a program of allergy avoidance and allergy immunology is started.  Patients are instructed in proper care of their sinuses, including regular saline irrigation, steam inhalation, dietary and lifestyle measures.   New or investigational drug therapies are offered if appropriate.

If medical treatment does not provide satisfactory relief of symptoms, a surgical approach may be recommended. Surgical modification of sinus anatomy can restore physiologic sinus drainage and ventilation, resolving current symptoms as well as preventing future problems.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

UCLA head and neck surgeons have been performing endoscopic sinus surgery since 1987. Currently, over 400 procedures are performed each year with 90 percent of patients reporting significant improvement in their symptoms. Endoscopic surgical techniques avoid facial incisions and the numbness typically associated with more conventional forms of sinus surgery and can be performed on an outpatient basis with minimal postoperative discomfort.

New technologies, including computer-aided image guidance and balloon sinuplasty, have increased the accuracy and efficacy of endoscopic sinus surgery.   Surgery for revision sinus cases, massive nasal polyposis, and sinus neoplasms can be performed with a greater degree of safety and precision than before. Patients are monitored to ensure that sinus cavities remain open and functional. Management of underlying allergies with appropriate medications, including immunotherapy, is maintained postoperatively.

Surgeons work closely with referring physicians and appropriate consultants in allergy/immunology, infectious diseases, neurology, and pain management to coordinate each patient's treatment plan.

Research Applications

Program research focuses on improvement in endoscopic surgical techniques, as well as investigation into new drugs and alternative treatments for nasal disorders.  A current protocol, being conducted in collaboration with the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, is investigating the effectiveness of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of chronic sinusitis.
UCLA Center for East-West Medicine website

Our Expert Team

Jeffrey Suh, MD
Marilene B. Wang, MD
Joel Sercarz, MD


For information, referral and appointments, call: (310) 206-6688.