What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure that helps widen the sinus passageways to improve breathing and reduces the risk and occurrence of sinus infections. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia in the office or sometimes in more complex cases on an outpatient basis, which means you'll go home soon afterward. During this procedure, a thin probe or catheter is inserted through the nostril into the sinus cavity. Once in position, a tiny balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated, gently widening the sinus passageway. Once the narrowed area has been opened, the balloon is then deflated and removed along with the catheter, restoring normal breathing and drainage.
What benefits does Balloon Sinuplasty offer compared to traditional sinus surgery?
Because it uses no incisions, Balloon Sinuplasty is considered a minimally-invasive procedure, which means there's a lower risk for complications. Also time for healing and return to normal activity is usually faster. There also tends to be also less bleeding and risk of scarring compared to traditional sinus surgery, which causes more trauma to the sinuses and the surrounding anatomy. Plus, Balloon Sinuplasty doesn't remove any sinus or nasal tissue, so there may be no need to pack the nose with gauze afterward, making recovery much more comfortable as well.
How can I tell if Balloon Sinuplasty might be a good option for me?
Typically a candidate for this procedure will have:
- Chronic sinus infections that do not respond to antibiotics
- Recurrent infections occurring more than 4 times per 12 month period
- Frequent sinus headaches
- Sinus pressure
- Problems breathing through the nose
- Chronic foul odor or taste in the mouth
- Loss of smell