By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new device is providing help to some of the 50 million people who suffer with chronic sinus infections. Similar to a stent for the heart, the device called Propel is the first-of-its-kind sinus implant.

Barbara Ganguzza from Allentown is one of those patients benefiting from the sinus implant. Now that she has it she says she can finally smell coffee and enjoy how it tastes.

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“I feel amazing,” says Barbara. “I feel like a brand new person.” But before the surgery, Barbara suffered with chronic sinus infections for years.

“I couldn’t taste, I couldn’t smell,” she said describing the effects of the constant congestion. “I just was tired, I just felt like there was something sitting on my face all the time.”

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Even a trip to Italy was misery and medications didn’t work. Barbara finally turned to Dr. Gurston Nyquist at Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Otolaryngology.

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In September she had sinus surgery that included the Propel implant.

On a post-op visit she told Dr. Nyquist that the surgery has left her feeling wonderful. The stent, inserted through the nostrils, props open the sinus.

“It slowly dissolves over 6 weeks and during that time it slowly alludes a steroid that helps keep the swelling down and prevent scarring formation,” said Dr. Nyquist. “I think it’s a great apparatus.”

Barbara says there was a little post-operative stuffiness but she felt better fast and was quickly enjoying some of her favorite foods. “A week later, I went and had the best tomato soup and cheese sandwiches,” she said. “I’m thrilled, I’m thrilled.”

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Barbara says she’s looking forward to traveling now without pain.

Stephanie Stahl