If you’re suffering from chronic sinusitis and have exhausted your treatment options, you may be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty. This minimally invasive surgical solution is a safe and effective method of enlarging your sinus passages for easier breathing and a drastic reduction in sinusitis symptoms.
Understanding Balloon Sinuplasty
Chronic sinusitis is a widespread condition affecting 37 million Americans. This inflammation of the sinuses occurs when the sinus opening becomes blocked, preventing mucus from draining properly. It causes cold-like symptoms that include congestion, runny nose, sore throat, facial pain and swelling, loss of smell or taste, bad breath, fatigue, and headache. It is most often caused by viral infections, but can also occur as a result of nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or head trauma. Medical solutions work for some, but others continue to suffer despite numerous attempts using a variety of treatments. Balloon sinuplasty may be the answer for these people.
Conventional sinus surgical procedures involve cutting and excision of bone and tissue, a process that may cause pain and scarring and requires a recovery period. Balloon sinuplasty, in comparison, is quick (the average operating time is 73 minutes) and relatively painless, and has a lower risk of complications or side effects. It is FDA-approved and considered a safe alternative to endoscopic sinus surgery.
Balloon sinuplasty is typically performed in an outpatient setting. You’ll be given either a local or general anesthetic before a balloon catheter is inserted into your sinus cavity. The balloon is then inflated in order to enlarge the sinus opening and widen the walls of the nasal passages. A saline solution is sprayed in the cavity to flush out mucus and other debris, and the catheter is removed. The end result is open sinuses that enable normal breathing and drainage of fluids. Up to 95% of patients report a significant improvement in sinus symptoms following this procedure.
If you are interested in balloon sinuplasty, speak with your doctor or an ENT specialist. A qualified physician will take a look at your medical history and help you determine which sinus treatment options are best for you.