Flagstaff Surgical Associates

Surgical Departments


Northern Arizona's experts in general surgery, urology,
audiology, allergy, & ENT treatment.

  • Allergy Services

    We have designed a safe and easy way to provide a comprehensive program to test and treat allergy patients. We have adopted the Modified Quantitative method to effectively diagnose environmental allergies. This detailed and accurate form of testing is a two-step process that involves a prick-puncture and intradermal test. Intradermal testing is the most accurate way to diagnose allergies. This testing provides answers to your environmental allergy or asthma symptoms whether it is from pollen, molds, dust mites, animals or other epidermals.

    We provide up-to-date allergy diagnosis and treatment and offer the most effective way to test for environmental allergies in our clean and allergy-free environment. We take great pride in knowing that our patients feel comfortable and cared for during their entire office experience.

    There is no age limit to testing, and our team is well-qualified to put your child at ease during testing. Your allergy specialist will also provide you with valuable educational tips on how to control your allergy symptoms. It is our goal to provide you with all the tools that you need to alleviate your allergies. Call (928) 773.2222 to schedule an appointment with our allergy specialist!

    Skin Testing For Allergies

    The common way to test for allergies is on the skin. At Flagstaff Surgical – Allergy, this is usually done on the back and upper arms. During a typical skin test, a trained specialist will place a slight amount of allergen using the prick puncture method on the back and an intradermal injection on the upper arms. The entire appointment will take approximately 2 hours from start to finish.

    If you or your child reacts to one of the allergens, your skin will respond with minor swelling in that area within about 15 minutes but usually diminishes within 30 minutes. Anti-itch cream will be applied if necessary.

    With a skin test, your specialist can check for these kinds of allergies:

    Environmental, such as mold, pet dander, tree pollen, grass pollen and weed pollen
    Medications, such as penicillin

    Some medications, such as antihistamines, can interfere with skin testing, check with the specialist to see if you or your child’s medications need to be stopped prior to the testing date. While skin testing is useful, additional tests– like blood tests or oral challenges– may be an additional necessary step in helping to determine allergy sensitivity.

    Skin tests are usually well tolerated, however, in rare cases, they can cause a more serious allergic reaction. Skin testing must always be done in an allergist’s office, where the doctor is appropriately prepared to handle such a reaction. We only do testing on days when a doctor is available in the office.

    What Is Allergen Immunotherapy?

    Allergen immunotherapy rehabilitates the immune system by administering increasing doses of identified allergens to accustom the body to substances that are generally harmless (pollen, house dust mites) and thereby induce specific long-term tolerance. Immunotherapy can be administered under the tongue (sublingually with drops or tablets) or by injections under the skin (subcutaneous). Allergen immunotherapy represents the only relative treatment for respiratory allergies. It is the only medicine known to tackle not only the symptoms but also the causes of respiratory allergies. A detailed diagnosis is necessary to identify the allergens involved. The medicine must be prescribed and initiated by an otolaryngic allergy specialist or general allergist.

  • Health Conditions We Treat

    Allergy Injections (Subcutaneous Immunotherapy)

    Subcutaneous immunotherapy is the historical route of administration and consists of allergen extract injections. Subcutaneous immunotherapy can only be performed with medical observation. Subcutaneous immunotherapy protocols generally involve weekly injections during a build-up phase, followed by monthly maintenance injections for a period of 3 years. Although the value of subcutaneous immunotherapy has been demonstrated by several studies, subcutaneous immunotherapy brings a risk of systemic anaphylactic reactions necessitating the need for subcutaneous immunotherapy to be performed by clinicians trained in allergy.

    Sublingual Immunotherpy (Oral Drops)

    Immunotherapy, as opposed to allergy medication, treats the underlying allergies by desensitization, rather than treating the symptoms. In SLIT, drops are administered orally, under the tongue, rather than by injection. During the “build-up” phase, the doses are gradually increased but once “maintenance” dose is reached, you or your child will typically take the same dose for the duration of the treatment. The same allergy extract that is FDA approved for allergy shots is used in SLIT. A major advantage of allergy drops is that it is administered in the convenience of your home, instead of at the doctor’s office.

    Allergen immunotherapy represents the only preventative treatment for allergies. It is the only known medicine that can down-regulate the immune system’s response to an allergen. A detailed diagnosis is necessary to identify the allergens specific to your symptoms. The treatment is prescribed and initiated by our otolaryngic allergy specialist. We offer treatment for environmental, wheat and diary allergies.


This page is intended for informational use only and not medical advise. Please call our office to schedule an appointment @ (928) 773-2222.
  • Allergy Services

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I send the doctor emails?

    You are able to communicate with our office through our patient portal. It is a great way to communicate on non-emergent issues, such as: prescription refill, appointment request, billing questions or medical records requests. You should have been provided a paperwork with portal registration information including a PIN number. If you don’t have this call our office to obtain you PIN and follow this link to get started!

    Access your patient portal

    Where will my surgery be done?

    Flagstaff Surgical Associates works with the hospital and two local surgery centers. We will schedule at the facility that best fits your surgery needs is contracted with your insurance carrier.

    Is sublingual immunotherapy widely used?

    In recent years, sublingual immunotherapy/allergy drops (SLIT) has gained popularity in the treatment of allergies. This treatment is widely utilized in Europe and the World Health Organization has endorsed sublingual immunotherapy as a viable alternative to injection immunotherapy or allergy shots. Many of our patients, both adults and children, have noticed a significant improvement in their allergy symptoms with this treatment. There have been numerous medical studies on SLIT and this treatment is now a “headliner” at the major allergy conferences. In the upcoming years, allergy drops are sure to become a standard in the treatment of many allergic conditions, including hay fever, asthma, eczema and even food allergies.

    How effective are allergy drops?

    Although allergy shots are still considered the “gold standard” for allergy treatment in the United States, allergy drops are considered first line treatment in a number of European countries. They are very effective in relieving allergy and asthma symptoms, making them worth considering as an alternative to allergy injections for many patients, particularly children. As with allergy injections, numerous medical studies have proven that allergy drops can help prevent the onset of asthma in children with allergic rhinitis (hay fever). There have also been many studies showing that allergy drops have resulted in a significant reduction in the need for allergy and asthma medications.

    Are allergy drops safe?

    The incidence of significant adverse reactions to allergy drops is very low and the most common reaction reported is mild itching or tingling of the mouth or tongue. It is extremely rare to have a serious systemic reaction to allergy drops, even more rare than with allergy shots. With dosing adjustments, treatment usually proceeds as scheduled, without further incident. As noted above, the extracts used in SLIT are the same FDA approved, standardized, extracts used in injection immunotherapy. However, because the FDA has not yet approved these allergy extracts for sublingual administration, they are classified as “off-label”. Off-label use of an FDA approved product is extremely common in the United States, and is often utilized by physicians. The classic example is the off-label use of aspirin to help prevent heart attacks, which occurred for years when the FDA had not yet approved this use, even though it was widely known that aspirin treatment was safe and effective.

    Other examples include the use of seizure medications which were proven and widely used off- label to prevent migraine headaches and chemotherapy agents, approved by the FDA to treat one form of cancer, which were then proven to be very effective and commonly used to treat other forms of cancer. There is frequently a very long lag time between when a medical treatment is proven to be effective and when the FDA approves it to treat a specific medical condition.

    How do I start this treatment for me or my child?

    The first step is to identify the underlying allergy and from there, we will formulate your drops based on the results of your allergy testing and medical evaluation. The allergy drops are individualized to treat your allergies and will contain the allergens to which you are allergic.

    What kind of testing do you offer?

    We offer the Modified Quantitative testing. This is a two-step process that takes approximately 2 hours. The first part is a skin prick test on the back. The second part is intradermal injections on the upper arms.

    How do you treat allergies?

    We offer two immunotherapy options. A build-up process is started to reach a maintenance dose that is adequate to build immunity to your allergies. Injections begin with a weekly injection that lasts up to 1 year; when maintenance is reached the goal is a monthly injection. Sublingual is a daily drop under the tongue and has a 3 month build-up; when maintenance is reached the daily dose continues. Both are recommended to continue for 3-5 years.

    What do you test for?

    We test for environmental allergies; weeds, grasses, trees, dust mite, molds, and epidermals (this includes cat, dog, horse, feather, cockroach). We also test for dairy and wheat allergies.

    How soon do you achieve results?

    Once maintenance is reached, we expect you to notice changes. The amount of time this takes depends on the immunotherapy option you choose and the severity of your allergies.

    What is the goal of immunotherapy?

    To decrease or eliminate the need for allergy and/or asthma medications. The “unified airway” is affected by allergies and asthma. We hope to see an improvement in asthma as well. Commonly, allergies are asthma triggers. If we can identify triggers through your symptom history and testing, it is likely we can treat those allergies.

    How do I prepare for testing?

    You must be off antihistamines for 7 days. This will allow the skin to react to something you are allergic to. Beta blockers and tricyclic antidepressants are drug classes that are contraindicated for testing and immunotherapy. Consult with your prescribing provider regarding this.

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With Flagstaff Surgical Associates

Our

Mission


Our mission is to provide Northern Arizona with professional and patient-centered surgical and specialty healthcare services.
Our

Vision


Our vision is to provide patient care that consistently achieves superior levels of quality, safety, and patient satisfaction.

FSA's

Core Values


Quality

We've partnered with Arizona medical practices, hospitals, and services, gathering metrics so you receive the best possible treatment.

Community

We love the Northern Arizona community and are active in local charities, events and sponsorships.

Technology

Our physicians all use the latest proven techniques for surgical and non-surgical patient treatment.

Availability

By having several physicians of each specialty. You can be confident your needs will continually be met.