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Dr. Sigari: The Celebrity Sinus Doctor

By Jana Ritter

Dr. Farhad Sigari never set out to become a celebrity M.D. and is known as the "sinus doctor to the stars," but the Los Angeles based Otolaryngologist is simply that good. With his humble philosophy of giving people a better quality of life, Dr. Sigari has become a top-rated ears, nose and throat specialist renowned for his superior expertise in providing the most effective, least invasive techniques in his field.

Since opening the Del Rey Sinus and Allergy Institute in Marina Del Rey, CA., Dr. Sigari's pioneering approach and personable manner has attracted a long list of clients that not only include Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes but all types of patients from across the US and countries around the world.

Dr. Farhad Sigari - The Celebrity Sinus Doctor

We had a chance to meet the famous doctor and found him to be as down to earth as his reputation precedes with plenty of expertise he was eager to share.

What first inspired you to become a doctor and what made you decide to specialize in otolaryngology?

When I was about 5 years old, I witnessed a man having a heart attack in a public parking lot. My immediate, overwhelming instinct was wanting to do something to help him and right then and there I decided that I would become a doctor. It was also this desire to help people that drove me to specialize as an ENT, because it's the most widely encompassed area of care. By being able to help people hear better, breathe better and sleep better, I'm making a significant positive impact on their overall quality of life.

You're regarded as the top rated sinus doctor in the United States. What sets you apart from others in your field?

I believe it's my approach to treating patients. First and foremost, I want my patients to have a clear understanding of their individual situation. We go over the details of their history and all of their symptoms very thoroughly, as well as their best possible treatment options. I like to educate my patients to the fullest extent and empower them with information that will allow them to play an active role in determining the best possible sinus treatment plan specific to their individual needs.

Many people don't realize the serious implications of sinus conditions and how important treatment is. How bad can it get and what are some of the more common conditions you treat?

Like most infections, a sinus infection is bad bacteria and the longer its left untreated, the worse it can spread. The bacteria can cause the skin to break out or it can spread through the nasal passage and go into the eye or in the worst-case scenario, it can even spread to the brain.

Mostly patients come to me with a chronic sinus infection that is severely impeding their quality of life. They're finding it difficult to breathe, difficult to sleep and understandably, they're miserable and depressed. A lot people don't realize that living with a bad sinus problem can be a lot worse than having a heart condition.

You're also known for having the most advanced, minimally invasive treatments with the highest success rates. Tell us about that?

Having a background in Biomedical Engineering has really given me a unique perspective on the pathophysiology of head and neck disorders, which allows me to seek out the latest technology and utilize it for the lease invasive treatments possible. It can be as minimal as Sublingual Immunotherapy treatment or simply prescribing you the correct nasal spray, and in more serious cases that usually require traditional nasal surgery; I offer a far less invasive procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty. It's a state-of-the-art sinus treatment that is done right in the office with minimal discomfort and a much faster recovery. Not only is it a lot safer because it doesn't require general anesthesia, it's far cheaper because it doesn't require a hospital stay and people usually recover fast enough that they can return to work within a day.

You also have patients travelling to Los Angeles because you're one of few doctors in the world offering the "Painless Tonsillectomy." What is this groundbreaking procedure all about?

As most people know, a traditional tonsillectomy is a very invasive surgery that requires general anesthesia and a long, painful recovery of usually about three weeks. In 2006, laser technology allowed us to develop a new procedure that would change tonsil surgery forever. It's a procedure called a tissue welding tonsillectomy and it uses an instrument which causes far less damage than traditional tonsil removal surgery. Some of my patients have said they felt no pain at all, but even for those who do feel a little pain it's by far the least painful option available today. Not to mention that patients can fully recovery in as little as a week.

You also devote a lot of your time to surgical philanthropic work as well. What is Medical Missions for Children?

MMFC is an all-volunteer group of physicians and nurses that provide free surgical care for children with cleft lip and cleft palate deformities. I joined the organization in 2004 and every year since then I've taken a few one-week trips to India and Peru, where we usually screen over 100 patients and each surgeon performs about 20-25 surgeries in that week. I'm currently serving as the MMFC's lead surgeon and I want to continue doing as many missions as I can. As someone who went into the medical field wanting to make a difference in people's lives, the most rewarding aspect of my work is being to provide such life changing care to these children who need it most.

What do you ultimately hope to achieve in your career?

I just want to keep doing what I'm doing, helping people abroad and here at home. I'm going to continue upping the bar to provide the best quality care and treating all of my patients with that "hometown doctor" warmth big cities so rarely provide.

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