Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and effective procedure for chronic sinusitis patients who are not responding well to medications and are seeking relief from uncomfortable and painful sinusitis symptoms.
Sinusitis symptoms can include:
- Facial pain
- Facial pressure
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Sinus headaches
These symptoms occur due to inflammation of the sinus lining. If the sinus opening becomes blocked due to this swelling, normal mucus drainage may not occur – possibly leading to recurrent sinus infections and painful symptoms. Sinusitis is either “acute” – lasting less than four weeks – or “chronic” – lasting longer than 12 weeks. Sinusitis affects 37 million people each year! For some patients, medical therapy may fail to resolve the symptoms or only provide temporary relief. This failure may be due to an underlying physical obstruction that medical treatment can’t address. Some patients can become stuck in a cycle of repeated rounds of antibiotics to address symptoms, which may lead to antibiotic resistance. Thus, despite optimal medical therapy, some patients need sinus surgery. Traditionally, this surgery involves general anesthesia and the use of an operating room. However, in the past few years for certain sinusitis patients another option has become available – Balloon Sinuplasty.
With Balloon Sinuplasty, the inflamed sinuses are opened in a similar way that cardiologists open up blocked arteries. The procedure uses a specifically designed flexible catheter and wire to navigate the intricate sinus anatomy with minimal trauma and pain. Once inside the sinuses, the small balloon is gradually inflated to open the blocked sinuses. This opening allows for normal functioning and drainage. The procedure is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery. Unlike conventional sinus surgery, it does not include removal of bone or tissue from the nasal passage. Furthermore, this procedure can be performed in the office. Thus, it is less expensive than traditional sinus surgery since there is no operating room or anesthesia charges. Balloon Sinuplasty allows patients to return to normal activities quickly. In fact, patients can drive themselves home after the office procedure. Balloon Sinuplasty isn’t for all sinus patients, but it is an option for some patients depending on their physiology, anatomy, and CT findings.