Diagnostic Study | South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center

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Diagnostic Study

Your path to wellness starts with detailed diagnostic and imaging studies to determine the underlying causes of your condition. Every patient’s anatomy and medical history are unique and therefore require thorough, individualized examination for guaranteed results. Our state-of-the-art facility provides a range of options for the most accurate testing. Dr. Mandel analyzes each patient's results to custom-tailor minimally invasive and effective treatment plans.

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Examinations

We’re proud to offer a full suite of diagnostic tests. Whatever your particular symptoms, Dr. Mandel and the entire team at South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center can help treat you thanks to our comprehensive testing options.

Our diagnostic and imaging tests include:

  • Nasal Endoscopy
  • Targeted Low Dose 45 Second Sinus CT Scan
  • Full Ear, Nose, and Throat Exam
  • Sinus Cultures
  • Biopsy
  • Allergy Skin Testing
  • Smell Identification Testing
  • Home Sleep Testing

Overview of Testing

Our proven testing methods have allowed Dr. Mandel to diagnose and successfully treat thousands of patients. Depending on your medical history and current symptoms, our team will determine the tests necessary to best evaluate your concerns. The result is a customized and specialized treatment plan or, as we like to call it, your roadmap to optimal nasal, sinus, and sleep health.

diagnostic study

Results Lead to Treatment

Following diagnostic studies, Dr. Mandel analyzes each patient’s results to create an individualized, minimally invasive treatment plan based on his findings. After successfully completing treatment, we perform a secondary diagnostic assessment to evaluate your long-term results and relief from nasal, sinus, and sleep issues.

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Our Diagnostic Study Procedures

 

CT Scan

Following a complete review of a patient’s medical history, Dr. Mandel will perform CT scan using South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center’s state-of-the-art Xoran Ultra-Low Dose Mini-CAT Scanner. Your CT scan takes approximately 45 seconds and is done in conjunction with a full head-and-neck exam, in addition to a nasal endoscopy to ensure our team has a detailed understanding of your underlying conditions. We’ll detail these diagnostic studies below, but first, let’s take a look at the CT scan process. 

Computed Tomography scans (abbreviated to CT scans) are a type of X-ray imaging test. They combine multiple images and innovative computer technology to create a cross-section of your organs, bones, tissue, and even blood vessels. CT scans also highlight abnormalities like viral or bacterial infections, tumors, inflammation, internal injuries, and more.

Our CT scan is used to examine patients’ paranasal sinuses (the medical name for the sinus cavities). There are four distinct sets of paranasal sinuses – maxillary, frontal, ethmoid, and sphenoid. Each is scanned to help determine the cause of your nasal issue. The other structures within your nose are also scanned, with special attention paid to the nasal septum, turbinates, and pathways from your nose into your sinuses, to the back of your nose, and into your throat.   

We recommend that you avoid taking any sinus-related medication, including nasal washes, for at least 24 hours before your scan. This helps us get the most accurate picture of your sinus health and leads to better diagnoses and treatment outcomes.

 

Nasal Endoscopy

Often performed in conjunction with a CT scan, Dr. Mandel conducts nasal endoscopy procedures for pre and postoperative assessments. It’s often helpful to think of the nasal endoscopy as an in depth view of your nose and the pathways to your sinuses, whereas the CT scan is a bird’s eye view. Combining the two tests leads to a comprehensive understanding of any and all nasal and sinus problems you’re experiencing.  

Although it may sound uncomfortable, the entire nasal endoscopy process is designed to be minimally invasive. It’s quick, often taking less than five minutes to complete. Depending on your unique symptoms, we will use a topical decongestant or anesthetic to help maximize your comfort.

 

Head and Neck Exams

Performed alongside a nasal endoscopy and CT scan, head-and-neck exams help give our team a holistic understanding of patients’ ENT, nasal, and issues. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center’s head-and-neck exams are similar to those performed during a routine ENT physical. The process is quick, non-invasive, and helps determine the cause of your symptoms, as well as acting as a screening exam for other ENT issues that have yet to cause symptoms or to be diagnosed. 

The head-and-neck exam begins with Dr. Mandel inspecting your head and neck for any abnormalities noticeable to the naked eye. He then palpitates the neck and thyroid to check for abnormalities. He examines your ears, nose, and throat carefully, including inspecting the oropharynx, soft palate, hard palate, and uvula. Finally, Dr. Mandel will examine your nasal cavity, usually with a scope. 

Head and neck exams help add vital information to the larger picture of your nasal and sinus health.   

 

Sinus Cultures

South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center can take sinus cultures if necessary. Although many sinus problems, including chronic sinusitis, can be diagnosed without the need for cultures, performing this test is often helpful in cases refractory to standard medical management or in patients that have had previous sinus surgery who are more susceptible to unusual, opportunistic bacteria or fungi. 

We can obtain a culture from mucus and other types of sinus discharge. We may take a culture from patients’ middle meatus, which is one of three passages in the nasal cavity. Taking discharge or tissue from this particular meatus is widely considered the most effective method to obtain accurate results. 

It’s important to stop here and note that our sinus cultures are performed without any punctures or smears. This means they are minimally invasive and useful as an adjuvant diagnostic option.

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Biopsy

We sometimes perform nasal mucosal biopsies on patients if Dr. Mandel discovers something out of the ordinary during other diagnostic tests. Although this is rarer than, say, performing a nasal endoscopy or CT scan, don’t be alarmed if we recommend a nasal biopsy. It’s always better to be safe and get a complete picture of someone’s health. In many cases, we recommend nasal mucosal biopsies to check for nasal polyps, sarcoidosis, and other types of noncancerous and cancerous growths. 

The nasal mucosal biopsy is minimally invasive. We use an injected anesthetic to reduce any potential discomfort and then remove a tiny piece of tissue from your nasal cavity. You may experience soreness or bleeding, particularly of the nose, after the procedure, but the recovery time is very quick, and many patients have no post-biopsy discomfort at all.

 

allergy testing

Allergy Testing

Dr. Mandel and his team at South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center utilize proprietary allergy tests to identify allergens and determine the severity thereof with minimal patient discomfort. Unlike traditional testing methods, which feature a daunting gamut of uncomfortable skin pricks, Dr. Mandel has pioneered a method that ensures a thorough assessment without the discomfort and tedium associated with traditional tests. Dr. Mandel emphasizes a unique combination of skin pricks with intradermal testing, ensuring a more convenient and accurate diagnosis to determine the severity and extent of any allergies you may be suffering from.

Smell Identification Testing

Smell Identification Testing is among the most well-regarded and thoroughly researched methods of sinus-related testing. The Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) is a 40-item test that provides an absolute indication of smell loss—from mild to severe microsomia. In addition to smell loss, UPSIT can also detect malingering, based on norms from a 4000-person aggregate consisting of men and women of all ages. UPSIT provides health practitioners with a comprehensive assessment of patients suffering from a myriad of sinus-related symptoms. At South Florida Sinus and Allergy, our in-house Smell Identification Testing will give our team a better picture of your possible symptoms, ensuring an expeditious and effective outcome that minimizes discomfort and maximizes favorable results. 

Home Sleep Testing

At South Florida Sinus and Allergy, we make use of specialized home-based sleep testing kits to evaluate and diagnose your problematic symptoms. Unlike other practices that use impersonal third-party facilities, you can enjoy the same accuracy and effectiveness from the comfort of home.

home sleep test

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Your Customized Treatment Plan

After performing as many of the above diagnostic screenings as necessary to identify the cause of a patient’s symptoms, Dr. Mandel personally reviews the data. Together with a comprehensive medical history – which highlights familial illnesses and predispositions – these tests form the basis of your individualized treatment plan. In his 29-year career as a nationally recognized otolaryngologist and rhinologist, Dr. Mandel has found this combination of hard data and medical history offers the most accurate roadmap to optimal sinus health. 

As the Director of South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center, and South Florida Snoring and Sleep Center, Dr. Mandel has helped thousands of patients recover from a wide range of illnesses. The cornerstones of each and every one of these successes has been the highest level of personalized care and unrivaled precision during all stages of the treatment process. Dr. Mandel is known across the country for his minimally invasive techniques, long-term relief, and dedication to excellence. 

Not only is Dr. Mandel one of the only rhinologists in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, but his experience and innovation are unmatched. With two convenient offices in Fort Lauderdale and Plantation, Dr. Mandel’s team of renowned specialists, South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center is redefining patient-centered care. Call us today at (954) 983-1211 to schedule your appointment. You can also request an appointment online, and one of our staff will contact you shortly.

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