If you suffer from chronic sinusitis and conservative treatment hasn’t worked, you might be advised to have sinus surgery to alleviate the problem. But there’s good news — conventional surgery isn’t the only option. If you find yourself facing the prospect of invasive, expensive sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty could be a better option.
What is balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis. It offers all the benefits of traditional surgery, but with reduced pain, faster recovery time, and a lower risk of complications. Much like the balloon angioplasty heart doctors use to open blocked arteries, balloon sinuplasty is an endoscopic procedure that uses a small balloon to open blocked sinus passages.
The procedure is done under a local anesthetic. During the procedure, a catheter fitted with a tiny balloon is inserted through the nose and into the opening of the sinus cavity. Once inserted, the balloon is inflated; it expands to open the sinus passageway, which is then flushed with a saline solution to wash away built-up mucus and any infected fluid. After irrigation, the balloon is deflated and removed. Once removed, the sinus passageway remains open, allowing the sinuses to drain normally and reducing the likelihood of future sinus infections.
Advantages over traditional sinus surgery
Because it is minimally invasive, balloon sinuplasty offers many advantages over traditional sinus surgery, such as:
Faster recovery time. Where traditional sinus surgery involves cutting and removing tissue or even bone, balloon sinuplasty involves no such trauma to the delicate tissues of the sinus and nasal passages. This means you don’t have to wait days or weeks for healing to occur; most patients return to their normal daily routine and even work within one or two days.
Relief may be almost immediate. Patients often report improvement of their symptoms within hours of having the procedure.
Less post-operative pain. Because traditional sinus surgery involves cutting tissue and bone, patients often have serious pain during recovery. Patients who undergo balloon sinuplasty experience much less pain over a shorter period of time.
Low risk of complications. Like any other surgical procedure, traditional sinus surgery comes with risks; excessive bleeding, secondary infection of the surgical site, scarring, chronic nasal drainage, and even reduction of loss of the sense of smell are all possibilities with surgery. Balloon sinuplasty, thanks to its minimally invasive nature, carries a fraction of the risk for these types of complications.
Less expensive than traditional sinus surgery. Because it can be done in-office on an outpatient basis, balloon angioplasty can offer significant savings over traditional sinus surgery. There is no hospital stay, no general anesthesia, and no operating room — all of which are major contributors to the high price of conventional surgical procedures.
What makes you a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty?
Only you and your doctor can decide whether balloon sinuplasty is the right treatment for you, but there are a few things that might indicate you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Those who will benefit the most typically experience the following:
- Chronic sinusitis that has not resolved even after three months
- Ineffective use of over-the-counter and prescription medications
- Sinusitis that’s not due to an anatomical problem such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps
Other symptoms that could indicate balloon sinuplasty might be for you include:
- Chronic nasal congestion or runny nose
- Ongoing pain or pressure in your face
- Chronic headaches
- Nighttime congestion and coughing
- Chronic bad breath or aching teeth that can’t be attributed to bad teeth
- Pressure or fullness in your ears not due to an ear infection
- Worsening of asthma symptoms
- Decreased sense of taste or smell
Balloon sinuplasty may also be an option if you suffer from recurring acute sinus infections after having conventional sinus surgery in the past.
If your sinusitis hasn’t resolved in three months or more or you’re experiencing several of the symptoms listed above, then balloon sinuplasty could be for you. Contact sinusitis specialist Dr. Saul M. Modlin today and schedule your consultation.