Are you a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty?

Sinusitis is one of the most common health problems in the U.S. Chronic or recurrent sinusitis can cause frustrating symptoms that negatively affect your quality of life. Treatments such as antibiotic therapies and sinus sprays can be ineffective or feel like a never-ending cycle of doctor’s appointments and pharmacy purchases. Balloon sinuplasty is one of the most common sinus surgeries in the country for good reason: It’s safe, minimally invasive, and effective in treating chronic rhinosinusitis. Balloon sinuplasty opens up blocked and inflamed sinus cavities with a dilating balloon, promoting healing and allowing the passageways to drain. Because the procedure does not involve tissue removal, it can be performed in the office using a local anesthetic. Any bleeding during this low-risk yet highly effective procedure is usually minimal.

What is a balloon sinuplasty?

Rhinosinusitis is a condition in which the nasal linings have become inflamed. This can cause blockage of sinus openings and impede normal mucus drainage. This leads to recurrent sinus infections and frustrating symptoms that may include pain.

You might be a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty if you suffer from chronic or recurrent sinus infections. The goal of the procedure is to expand the openings of the sinuses so they can drain and heal. Balloon sinuplasty is a great option for people whose symptoms or inflammation do not respond to medication or other treatments.

Here is what you can expect during the procedure:

1. Your doctor will administer local anesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.

2. A thin tube and an endoscope allowing your doctor to see will be inserted into your nose. A small balloon on one end of the tube will be guided into your sinus cavity.

3. As your doctor inflates the balloon in your sinus, the passageway can clear out and your sinuses can drain. The inflation of the balloon restructures and widens the walls of the nasal passageway.

4. A saline rinse may be used to flush your sinuses out, removing mucus and debris.

5. The device will be removed, leaving your sinuses clear and open. 

6. Your doctor will inspect the sinus and the opening.

Unlike in a traditional sinus surgery, no bones or tissue are removed from the nose during a balloon sinuplasty; therefore, most patients can resume their regular activities the following day and expect a quick recovery. Significant improvements are generally reported after the procedure.

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