The Balloon Sinuplasty is meant for people with chronic sinusitis. This is an inflammation of the sinus lining which leads to blockage, inhibiting mucus drainage. This condition causes recurrent sinus infections and painful symptoms. Sinusitis can be acute, in which the symptoms last up to 4 weeks, or chronic, where symptoms last longer than 12 weeks.
- Facial/eye pressure
- Facial/eye pain
- Sinus headaches
- Congestion, stuffiness, or feeling of blockage in the nose
- Decreased sense of smell
- Postnasal drip
- Discolored nasal discharge (yellow or green)
- Pain in the teeth
- Bad breath
- Steam inhalation
- Saline nasal sprays
- Nasal steroid sprays
About 20% of chronic sinusitis patients don’t respond to medication therapy. For these patients, an ENT doctor is required for alternative treatments. Traditional sinus surgery removes bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus openings; the recovery is known to cause pain and scarring. However, recent breakthroughs in Otolaryngology lead to the development of the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure. This is a minimally invasive procedure that utilizes a small balloon (that is latex-free). It is placed into each nostril and inflated to reopen the sinuses. Unlike traditional sinus surgery, this procedure is very quick, has an easy recovery, and doesn’t involve cutting and scarring.
The Balloon Sinuplasty was cleared by the FDA in 2005 and has been helping many patients, including children, breathe clearly again. It gives sinusitis sufferers long-term relief from their symptoms and eliminates the need for future medication therapy. A clinical study of patients showed a 95% improvement in sinus symptoms just 9 months after the procedure.
Some doctors place their patients under general anesthesia, but most simply use a local anesthetic to numb the area. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and can be performed in the office; the patient is free to leave after the procedure and a follow-up appointment may or may not be required. It takes about two days to recover entirely, but it does not prevent you from performing daily activities and work.
Is The Balloon Sinuplasty Right For You?
Talk to your ENT doctor about whether this procedure is right for you. You will need to discuss all previous treatments that you’ve received, including the frequency of sinus symptoms and whether the medication was effective for you. If you have been experiencing sinusitis symptoms chronically (for at least 6 months without a break), you most likely are a candidate for this procedure. However, depending on how you have responded to medications in the past, your doctor may be more keen on recommending the Balloon Sinuplasty.
Regardless if you suffer from acute or chronic sinusitis, or whether medication therapy helps you or not, reach out to your ENT doctor to discuss alternative treatment options. Better breathing is just around the corner! Schedule an appointment with Breathe Sinus online or call us today at (219) 240-0346.