If you suffer from chronic sinusitis and have run out of options, you may be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty. This minimally invasive surgery is a safe and effective method of enlarging your sinus passages for easier breathing, better sinus ventilation and a drastic reduction in sinusitis symptoms.
What Is Sinusitis?
Recurrent acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis affects around 30 million Americans each year. These infections occur when one or more sinus openings become blocked, decreasing airflow and preventing mucus from draining properly. They cause cold-like symptoms that include congestion, runny nose, sore throat, facial pain and swelling, pain in the upper teeth, loss of smell or taste, bad breath, fatigue and headache.
This condition usually starts with a viral infection, though nasal polyps, allergies, a deviated septum or head trauma may also be the cause. Medical treatment for allergies works for some, but many continue to suffer. Balloon sinuplasty may be the answer.
What’s Different About Balloon Sinuplasty?
Conventional sinus surgical procedures involve cutting and excision of bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus openings. General anesthesia is needed and dissolvable packing is placed, which helps control bleeding and prevent scarring. The average recovery period is about five days long. Balloon sinuplasty dilates (widens) the openings of your natural sinus openings without removing tissue. For that reason, it causes less pain and has a much shorter average recovery period of only 1–3 days. Packing is rarely used.
Balloon sinuplasty is most often performed in the office and has a lower risk of complications or side effects. It is FDA-approved and considered a safe alternative to endoscopic sinus surgery.
How Is Balloon Sinuplasty Performed?
Balloon sinuplasty is typically performed in our office. You’ll usually be given an oral sedative to take before coming in. Topical and local anesthetic is used to help keep you comfortable, while we use an endoscope to help guide the balloon catheter into your sinus openings. We also have the technology that helps us efficiently and safely track the balloon into the openings using CT image guidance. The balloon is then inflated to enlarge the sinus opening and widen the walls of the sinus passages. The goal is to enlarge these openings to improve drainage and airflow permanently. Up to 95% of patients report a significant improvement in their sinus disease following this procedure.
If you are interested in balloon sinuplasty, speak with your doctor.
Call St. Cloud Ear, Nose & Throat for more information or to schedule an appointment. (320) 252-0233