Dr. Bradley Johnson landing #1

Dr. Bradley Johnson

Helping patients achieve a better normal

Patients who seek out Dr. Bradley Johnson may have struggled with ear, nose or throat problems for years. 

Dr. Johnson is committed to taking his patients seriously and looking deeper to find a problem’s cause. He stays up to date on promising new techniques with faster recovery times for patients, like the balloon sinuplasty procedure for patients who need sinus surgery or nasal surgery. He aims to help patients who have learned to simply live with conditions like chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps or nasal obstruction get back to a better normal.

“People will come in and they’ll say, for instance, their ear hurts, or, ‘I can’t breathe through my nose’,” Dr. Johnson said. “If you look in the ear and it looks normal, it doesn’t mean their ear doesn’t hurt. It just means you haven’t found a reason for it. So keep working.”

Dr. Johnson was drawn to medicine after seeing his father help others as an obstetrician-gynecologist. When the time came to pick his specialty, Ear, Nose and Throat seemed like a natural fit.

“It’s a very unique specialty where you feel like you can go to work and make a big impact on someone,” he said. “It’s just something where you feel like you can make these very small changes and it really improves the patient’s quality of life dramatically.”

He was fascinated by the intricate anatomy of the ear, nose and throat, how all the pieces fit together. He was also drawn to a specialty that would allow him to see patients in the clinic and perform surgery while also leaving plenty of time to be actively involved in his family as his three children grew up.

After four years at Des Moines University for medical school and five years in Detroit for his residency, he and his wife returned home to the Twin Cities to be closer to family. He was hired at Oakdale ENT in 2003, straight out of his residency, and it’s been a great fit.

As an independent clinic, Oakdale ENT is owned by the physicians who run it instead of a large organization. Dr. Johnson appreciates the independence that gives him and his colleagues to spend more time with patients and treat each person the way the physicians believe they should be treated.

It has also let Dr. Johnson delve into innovative, minimally invasive procedures much more quickly than he believes he would have been able to in a large medical system, where he would have needed committee approvals.

For instance, Dr. Johnson was an early adopter of balloon technology for outpatient sinus surgery, better known as a balloon sinuplasty, when the technology was introduced in the early 2000s.

Traditional outpatient sinus surgery requires general anesthesia and surgical removal of bony partitions in the nose that cause breathing problems. 

Balloon sinuplasty, on the other hand, can be done with local anesthesia in the office. A balloon is inserted into the nasal cavity, then into the obstructed sinus opening, then inflated for a few seconds to move bony partitions instead of removing them. That makes the sinus opening much bigger, allowing the sinus to aerate the way it was meant to, Dr. Johnson explained. 

Some of the most dramatic outcomes after a sinus surgery or nasal surgery are from patients with nasal polyps, who have gelatinous structures inside the nose that act as a plug, making it difficult for air to move back and forth.

“Every day it’s like the worst cold that you’ve ever had in your nose. They’re always worn down because they’re never getting any good sleep,” Dr. Johnson said. “They walk out of here after the sinus or nasal procedure and they’re breathing through their nose again, better than they have in years.”

Dr. Johnson believes in treating others the way you would want to be treated. This focus on empathy is one reason he works so hard to find root causes behind his patients’ symptoms.

Dr. Brad Johnson during patient exam

“When someone tells you they’re having a symptom, you try to put yourself in their shoes and you try to work your best to find a solution,” he said.

Respecting his patients’ time is also important.

“We’re all busy, we all want the most for our time, and it takes time to come in to see a physician,” he said.

That was driven home after Dr. Johnson survived a bear attack. He was mauled by two grizzly bears while backpacking with friends in the Montana wilderness in September 2018.

Dr. Johnson was in the hospital for eight days after the attack. He was completely off work for three months during his early recovery, then eased back into work with a very limited schedule. He needed other procedures and surgeries after he began working again.

“I was never a patient before,” he said. “And so you really do realize, this is what it takes to be a patient. Nothing is convenient. Doctors’ visits take up half your day, just for scheduling reasons.” 

A few days into his recovery, one doctor told him he would never operate again. Dr. Johnson accepted that at first, but wanted to keep seeing what happened – and he did ultimately return to the operating room as a surgeon. 

That experience taught him a lesson in the delicate balance of being realistic with patients and not offering false hope, but also remaining optimistic about what kind of recovery is possible.  

“No one really knows what your outcome is going to be until you’re healed,” Dr. Johnson said. “You do see people that defy what conventional medical wisdom would say is going to be their outcome. Things are possible.”

Are ready for relief?

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Brad Johnson in Maple Grove, Plymouth, or Robbinsdale.

Start feeling better. Today.

Call us at 763-233-5755 or request an appointment below.

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Meet our physicians

Board-certified, fellowship-trained experts in otolaryngology

Bradley Johnson, DO
Bradley Johnson, DO
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Troy Hemme, DO
Troy Hemme, DO
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Casey Fisher, DO
Casey Fisher, DO
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