Balloon Sinuplasty Facts

Chronic sinusitis is inflammation in the sinuses that persists three months or longer, despite treatment. While antibiotics are typically the first course of treatment for sinus infections, surgery may be necessary in chronic cases. Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive alternative to traditional sinus surgery that has been shown to be highly effective.

About Balloon Sinuplasty

Man with sinus issues presses on his nose

Balloon Sinuplasty was approved by the FDA in 2005. It was adapted from angioplasty, where balloon catheters are used to dilate damaged and congested blood vessels near the heart.

The procedure is increasingly being recognized and fully-covered by medical insurance companies. One 2017 study reported that the number of Balloon Sinuplasty procedures performed in the U.S. increased 59 percent annually between 2011 and 2014.

How Is Balloon Sinuplasty Performed?

Balloon Sinuplasty is performed by dilating the openings of the major nasal sinuses so they can be cleared and drained.

The procedure may be performed by an ENT (ear, nose, throat) physician in their office, in an outpatient clinic or in a hospital.

First, you will undergo local or general anesthesia. Then the doctor inserts an endoscope – which is a thin, flexible plastic tube with a camera and light on the end – into the nasal passages.

Once the endoscope reaches the sinus cavity, the doctor inserts a small balloon catheter using a guide wire. When it’s in position, the balloon is slowly inflated until it presses against the sinus walls.

After the balloon is inflated, the doctor flushes the passageways and cavities with a saline rinse to remove debris. Finally, the balloon is removed and the sinuses are left to drain naturally.

The procedure only takes about one hour to perform.

Is Balloon Sinuplasty Safe?

Balloon Sinuplasty is considered highly safe and effective. In fact, thanks to its high success rate and low risk of complications, it has become one of the most commonly performed types of sinus surgery.

Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty over traditional sinus surgery include:

  • Lower risk of bleeding
  • Shorter clinic stay and faster recovery time
  • No intended damage or removal of nasal or sinus tissues, structures, membranes, bones or cartilage
  • Fewer post-op appointments
  • Reduced need for pain medications
  • Reduced need for general anesthesia
  • Reduced risk of post-op infection
  • Reduced risk of unintentional tissue or structure damage
  • Reduced risk of scarring and inflammation

For more information about Balloon Sinuplasty or to schedule an appointment with an expert physician, contact Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute today!

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