Balloon Sinuplasty

A balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure used to treat chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the lining within the paranasal sinuses. Once inflamed, the sinus cavities become a fertile ground for viruses, bacteria, and occasionally fungi to grow, resulting in infection. If it becomes chronic there may be a structural problem in the nose or sinuses. In those cases, a balloon sinuplasty may be recommended.

A balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure during which a thin balloon catheter is inserted into the nose. The balloon is gradually inflated to relieve blockages and widen the sinus pathways. The goal of a balloon sinuplasty is to enlarge the opening of the sinuses, reduce blockage and improve sinus drainage.

How do I know if I need sinus surgery or not?

Sinus problems usually resolve within a week or two with appropriate remedies or medical treatment. When they don’t, it may be beneficial to consider the value of sinus surgery. Chronic sinus problems are only the first indication that sinus surgery may be advisable, though.
An ear, nose, and throat doctor performs a thorough consultation, medical history review, and evaluation that may include diagnostic imaging such as a CT scan of the sinuses. This initial process provides the doctor with details that facilitate the most accurate diagnosis and originating cause of symptoms. Chronic sinusitis may result from allergies, infection, polyps, or other conditions.
Before recommending sinus surgery, it is likely that an ENT will first advise relevant medical therapy such as allergy treatments, antibiotics, steroid nasal spray, or other modalities.

Am I a candidate for sinus surgery?

You may be a good candidate for sinus surgery if you suffer from chronic or recurring sinus allergies or sinusitis related to infection. You may benefit from sinus surgery if you have nasal polyps that are making it difficult to breathe or if your symptoms are not well-managed using medical therapies such as antibiotics, nasal sprays, and other strategies.

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What can I expect from sinus surgery?

Patients who undergo sinus surgery can expect a significant improvement in breathing, comfort, and quality of life. Depending on the type of sinus surgery that is performed, a patient may also expect for their recovery to occur gradually over a few weeks.
After sinus surgery, it is not uncommon to encounter fatigue, the need for prescription antibiotics or steroids, and packing, in some cases.

Sinus Surgery
When is sinus surgery the treatment of choice?

Sinus surgery may be strongly indicated in acute or chronic situations when the patient response to medical treatments does not achieve the desired increase in function.

Are there different types of sinus surgery?

There are two primary types of sinus surgery, endoscopic surgery, and balloon sinuplasty.

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a common technique in which tiny flexible tubes are inserted into the nasal cavity. One endoscope holds a camera through which the internal nasal structures can be observed. Others may be inserted to remove polyps or otherwise correct the internal aspects of the nose. Endoscopy is considered minimally invasive because no incisions are made in the nose. Because instruments are inserted through the nostrils, endoscopic sinus surgery may be conducted with a local anesthetic rather than general anesthesia.

Balloon sinuplasty is also a minimally invasive technique that is commonly performed to correct a blockage in the nasal cavity. Like endoscopy, balloon sinuplasty does not require incisions or general anesthesia.

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What is Balloon Sinus Dilation?

Balloon Sinus Dilation is another term for balloon sinuplasty. The procedure is performed in the office to open sinus passageways that have become blocked and minimize the symptoms of chronic sinusitis.

What happens during a Balloon Sinus Dilation?

Balloon sinus dilation is performed in the office using local anesthetic and possibly a mild sedative. The procedure involves placing a small catheter, or tube, into the nose. The tiny tube is progressed to the opening of the sinus cavity. A balloon containing saline is held at the end of the catheter. Once just inside the opening of the sinuses, the balloon is slowly inflated (dilated). This inflation of the balloon increases the size of the passageway up to six times its current size. After the nasal passageway has been increased, the balloon is deflated and removed. Patients can leave the office and safely drive themselves home.

Am I a candidate for Balloon Sinus Dilation?

A consultation and review of your medical history are necessary to determine if balloon sinus dilation is right for you. Your ear, nose, and throat doctor will also either review previous CT scans or order CT scans to obtain a high-definition image of your nose and sinus cavity.

General benchmarks that may indicate candidacy for balloon sinus dilation include:

  • Sinusitis symptoms that have lasted more than 3 months.
  • Recurrent sinus infections that last ten days or longer and occur three or more times a year.
  • You may be a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty even if you’ve had previous sinus surgery.
  • Individuals with a deviated septum may benefit from balloon sinus dilation although this procedure does not correct the structure of that part of the nose.
Sinus surgery

Benefits Of Balloon Sinuplasty

Unlike traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty does not require incisions, or any removal of bone or tissue, although, in certain cases, it may be used in conjunction with traditional surgery. The procedure utilizes small balloons placed in key places in the nose and sinus, which are then dilated to expand the sinus pathways. It may be an effective, lasting option for some patients whose symptoms do not resolve with medication.

BSD vs ESS Chart
Balloon sinuplasty has many advantages over traditional procedures. Benefits may include:
  • Absence of surgical incisions
  • No damage to surrounding tissue
  • Lack of serious complications
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Reduced bleeding

Although balloon sinuplasty is an effective treatment for relieving many sinus problems, and has no reported serious complications, it is not appropriate for everyone. Balloon sinuplasty cannot be performed on patients who have extensive scarring of the sinuses, ethmoid sinusitis or nasal polyps.

Risks Of Balloon Sinuplasty

Since balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure, risks are minimal but may include: bleeding, infection or swelling. The great majority of patients experience relief from the symptoms of sinusitis, soon after a balloon sinuplasty procedure. Studies indicate that most patients experience continued sinus health for up to 2 years after the procedure.

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How much pain is expected after a Balloon Sinus Dilation?

The level of discomfort during balloon sinus dilation is reportedly only about a 2 on a pain scale of 1 to 10. After the procedure, most patients encounter very little, if any discomfort. If you are concerned about post-treatment symptoms, talk with your doctor about how to manage comfort using over-the-counter medication or other remedies.

What is recovery like after a Balloon Sinus Dilation?

Recovery after balloon sinus dilation is minimal. Other than a small amount of bloody discharge, patients are unlikely to notice other side effects of treatment. Within 24 to 48 hours, most patients have fully resumed their normal daily activities.

Learn more about balloon sinus dilation at Daneshrad Clinic in Los Angeles. Call 310-453-6500.

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