Meet Dr. Cohen

Alen N. Cohen, MD, FACS, FARS

2023 Top Doctor
2023 Super Doctors
2023 Castle Connolly

Recognized as one of the Best Sinus Surgeons in Los Angeles, Dr. Alen Cohen, Founder and Director of Los Angeles’ premier sinus center, the Southern California Sinus Institute serves the greater Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley and Ventura County areas. The Southern California Sinus Institute was founded in 2009 by Dr. Cohen and specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of patients with all nasal and sinus disorders including nasal obstruction, deviated septum, hypertrophic turbinates, environmental allergies, acute and chronic sinusitis, nose and sinus polyps, recurrent severe and debilitating sinus infections and sinus headaches.

  • Board-Certified Diplomate, American Board of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons (FACS)
  • Fellow, American Rhinologic Society (FARS)
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, UCLA
Contact Dr. Cohen

Los Angeles based sinus specialist, Alen N. Cohen, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a Board-Certified ENT/Head and Neck Surgeon and renowned expert in the field of Nasal & Sinus Surgery as well as Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. As the founder and director of the Southern California Sinus Institute, Dr. Cohen is among an exclusive group of surgeons in the country who focus on the medical and surgical management of nasal and sinus disorders. Dr. Cohen’s passion for minimally invasive surgery has led him to achieve recognition as an expert in the revolutionary and life-changing In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty procedure as well as outpatient Minimally Invasive Image Guided Sinus Surgery (MIGSS). Furthermore, his institute in West Hills has been designated as a national Stryker Balloon Sinus Center of Excellence on the West Coast. As such he routinely trains physicians from all over the United States on the art of In-Office sinus procedures under local anesthesia, of which he has personally performed over 5,000 procedures.

Dr. Cohen received his medical degree from UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his M. D. degree after four years and was recruited to pursue a Head and Neck Surgical Residency at UCLA Medical Center, a top 5 program in the country. While at UCLA Medical Center Dr. Cohen completed 2 years of general surgical training and 4 years of specialized ENT/Head and Neck surgical training. During his training at UCLA, he rotated to Harbor General County Hospital, Olive View Medical Center, Wadsworth Veteran’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). He completed his residency with a one-year Chief Residency in Head and Neck Surgery at UCLA Medical Center, where he specialized in minimally invasive techniques for the surgical management of nasal and sinus disorders, thyroid diseases and head and neck tumors.

He is presently a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), a Fellow of the American Rhinologic Society (FARS) and is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). He also maintains a full membership in the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). Furthermore he was honored to be Chief of Surgery at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center from 2013-2018.

Lastly over his career Dr. Cohen has received numerous awards by patients and peers for his expertise in management of nose and sinus patients. These awards include:

2017-present Castle-Connelly Nationwide Top Doctor
2013-present Los Angeles Magazine Super Doctor
2009-present America’s Top Surgeons, ENT/Head and Neck Surgery (Consumer Research Council of America)
2008-present Patient’s Choice Award –
2008-present Most Compassionate Doctor –
2011-present Leading Physicians of the World
2012-present Recognized Physician
2012-present Who is Who of Doctors

Dr. Cohen continues to passionately care for his patients near and far and always wants to provide top-notch care to alleviate their discomfort. As such if you or a loved one want the best care for your nose or sinus problems contact the institute to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alen Cohen.

What is a Sinus Doctor?

A sinus doctor is a specialist who has expertise treating conditions and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. They’re sometimes called ENTs or by the more formal name otolaryngologist. Sometimes primary care doctors can treat minor sinus issues, but only a qualified ENT has the expertise for proper diagnosis and treatment of sinus conditions. To become this type of specialist, a doctor must complete rigorous training. First, a four-year bachelor’s degree, usually in the biological sciences, must be earned. This is followed by medical school, which is another four years of intensive education. Every doctor must complete residency training, and for an ENT this includes a specialized otolaryngology residency and a general surgical residency of 5-6 years.

How Do You Know When You’ve Found A Quality Sinus Doctor?

A good quality sinus doctor should be an utmost expert of the facial anatomy and sinus function and should be knowledgeable in the latest surgical and minimally-invasive techniques, in addition to having a deep understanding of the best non-surgical medical therapies for sinus disorders.

Why Is Dr. Cohen The Best Sinus Specialist In Los Angeles?
Dr. Cohen has a combination of stellar education and extensive subspecialty expertise that makes him stand out among sinus specialists in Los Angeles and nationwide. His expertise has led him to be a renowned sinus expert, earning multiple awards and recognized as a Los Angeles Magazine Super Doctor since 2013 and a Castle-Connolly Nationally Recognized Nose and Sinus Surgeon since 2017. He trains the next generation of sinus experts as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

His head and neck surgical residency was completed at UCLA Medical center—one of the top five programs nationally, where he completed two years of general surgical training and four years of specialized ENT/Head and Neck surgical training, and served his final year as chief resident of this top program.

Who’s A Good Sinus Doctor In Los Angeles County?
Top-tier sinus doctors like Dr. Alen Cohen, Founder and Director of Los Angeles’ premier sinus center, the Southern California Sinus Institute, also become board-certified. Dr. Cohen is board-certified in ENT/Head & Neck Surgery by the American Board of Otolaryngology and is a fellow both of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and American Rhinologic Society (FARS). He also maintains a full membership in the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).
Who’s A Good Candidate For Sinus Surgery?

You may be a good candidate for sinus surgery if you’ve been experiencing sinus problems that are affecting your quality of life and haven’t gotten better with home remedies or medical therapies. For many people, sinus surgery is the only treatment that can offer long term relief.

Dr. Alen Cohen has performed thousands of in-office balloon sinuplasty for people living with sinusitis. This procedure expands the sinus pathways permanently so it benefits many people who have chronic or recurrent problems with sinus drainage, causing frequent and long-lasting sinus infections.

Because Dr. Cohen has performed such a high volume of procedures with quality outcomes and the most state-of-the-art equipment, he trains sinus surgeons from all over the U.S. in balloon sinuplasty and his center has been recognized as a nationwide Sinus Center of Excellence.

Patients who don’t respond to medical management, steroid sprays or other treatments for nasal and sinus polyps may benefit from a polypectomy. Dr. Cohen is one of a few nose and sinus surgeons in the U.S. who expertly and routinely performs in-office nasal/sinus polypectomy under local anesthesia with excellent outcomes.

If Dr. Cohen discovers other underlying issues that are impacting your sinuses, you may be a candidate for other surgical treatments, such as deviated septum repair or may recommend minimally-invasive image-guided endoscopic surgery.

How Should One Prepare For Sinus Surgery

Preparing for sinus surgery is fairly simple. Since in-office balloon sinuplasty and in-office nasal and sinus polypectomies are done in the office under local anesthesia and topical medications, your preparation is minimal. Be sure to be rested for your procedure, arrive on time, and follow any specific pre-surgical instructions, especially regarding taking or stopping any medications.

How To Recover After Sinus Surgery

Many people feel relief from sinus pain and pressure with an improved ability to breathe through the nose almost immediately after the procedure! With sinus procedures that are minimally-invasive and only require local anesthesia, recovery is very quick, although recovery times may vary for each person. You can expect minimal discomfort and bleeding after surgery and most people can return to work and resume regular activities within a day or two after balloon sinuplasty.

You’ll be given aftercare instructions and a saline solution to rinse your nasal passageways for a few weeks after surgery which are critical to proper healing. Most patients are given antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection, but you likely won’t need any prescriptions for pain relief. As with any medical procedure, following all your doctor’s instructions can help your recovery go more smoothly.

How Much Does A Sinus Surgery Cost, And Are The Fees Covered By Insurance?

Many insurance plans have different deductibles and copays, but the good news is that almost all insurance plans provide coverage for sinus surgery treatments. Ninety-five percent of patients with insurance will find that insurance covers their needed sinus procedure! Our office will work with your insurance company to verify your benefits and get authorization prior to any procedure.

What Does A Sinus Specialist Do?

In medical practice, a sinus specialist will perform diagnostics, testing, medical treatments, and surgeries for a wide variety of sinus problems. Some of the most common sinus conditions treated include sinus infections (sinusitis). These infections can be acute sinusitis, which lasts up to 12 weeks, or chronic sinusitis, which persists for more than 12 weeks. Some people experience Recurrent Acute Rhinosinusitis (RARS) or recurrent sinus infections up to 10 times a year.

People often decide it’s time to come to a specialist when sinus symptoms are affecting quality of life. Common symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Congestion
  • Snoring or sleep apnea

Sinus specialists can provide medical treatment for sinusitis with antibiotics, but chronic or recurrent issues may call for sinus surgery.

Sinus or nasal polyps are another common issue that sinus specialists treat. Polyps in the sinuses or nasal cavity may cause symptoms similar to those of sinusitis or may cause no symptoms at all. Treatment options include medication, including steroid sprays to reduce the size of the polyps, or surgical removal.