It felt like the cold that would never end. For weeks, Jamie had awakened with a stuffy nose. She assumed she’d caught a bug from one of her elementary school-aged kids and did her best to ignore it by taking some over-the-counter medication and occupying herself with her routine: making the family breakfast, answering emails, attending staff meetings. But in recent days, the skin around her eyes had started to feel sore and a deep tension was building in her sinuses. Her ‘it’ll pass’ approach wasn’t working.
Jamie made an appointment with an ENT-otolaryngologist near her home in Lakewood. He checked for tenderness around her nose and conducted a physical exam. His conclusion: She had chronic sinusitis. The condition is relatively common, affecting close to 12 percent of the U.S. adult population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In order to confirm the diagnosis, the ENT doctor referred Jamie to Touchstone Imaging for a CT scan. The outpatient medical imaging company has 11 metro Denver locations and is his preferred partner. “Our patients are able to get in there really quickly with minimal hassles, and they are excellent at providing prior authorization of benefits,” Dr. Maheep Sohal, a fellowship-trained rhinologist, explains.
That was good news for Jamie who wanted answers—and a plan of action—as quickly as possible. Touchstone offers early morning, evening, and even weekend appointments—a perk for a busy patient like Jamie, who was relieved that she could schedule her imaging session for the very same evening. Touchstone was also in-network with her health insurance, and the company’s imaging services cost up to 60 percent less than imaging done at hospitals.
The patient-friendly report Jamie received 48 hours later offered another benefit: She didn’t have to make an in-person, return visit to the office. Her doctor was able to walk her through everything virtually, and she was prepared with questions because Touchstone provided clear explanations about the terminology and diagrams in her imaging exam.
Imaging is crucial to the work of ear, nose, and throat practitioners like Dr. Sohal. The detailed visuals help doctors assess the severity of a problem and clearly explain them to patients, as well as guide their treatment. “It’s part of the diagnostic criteria nowadays,” Dr. Sohal says. “No examination is complete without getting the imaging that Touchstone helps us out with.”
The treatment plan for chronic sinusitis can be medication-focused or surgical. Jamie presented with a full blockage, so her doctor recommended endoscopic sinus surgery, relying on the CT scan from Touchstone to guide his hands during the procedure.
The recovery time was quicker than Jamie expected. She had no external bruising or incisions, and she was able to resume cooking for her family—something that brings her joy—within a few days and was back at work within a week.
The discomfort of chronic sinusitis had trailed Jamie for weeks. But the process to get it fixed was quick once she finally made the call to her physician. Touchstone made sure of it.