Are you considering a balloon sinuplasty, or has your doctor mentioned it as a possible treatment for your sinus issues? As one of the top providers of balloon sinuplasty in the Bakersfield area, I get asked a lot of questions about this procedure. Here is your guide to balloon sinuplasty, which is a viable solution that can help improve your quality of life.
What is balloon sinuplasty, and how does it work?
A balloon sinuplasty works by opening up your sinuses using a small balloon-like apparatus (hence the name). This gives them more room, and you’ll be less likely to experience congestion. This in-office procedure is minimally invasive.
Who can benefit from a balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty can be a very effective solution for chronic sinusitis (recurring sinus infections). Chronic sinusitis is defined as sinusitis that lasts over three months despite treatment. Symptoms include stuffy and/or runny nose, postnasal drip, tenderness or sensitivity around the sinus cavities, hoarse voice, and inflammation in the nose.
What is a balloon sinuplasty procedure like?
You will be seated comfortably in a reclined position and given local anesthesia to the area around your sinuses. A tiny camera at the end of a wire is carefully inserted into your nose and extended upwards until it reaches your sinuses. The camera, along with a red light, help your doctor determine when everything is in the correct place. If necessary, the sinuses can be drained at this point. After that, the “balloon” tool is inserted. Once in the correct position, it is inflated, causing the space in the sinuses to expand.
Does balloon sinus dilation hurt?
No! The nasal area is numbed prior to the procedure. You’ll have local anesthesia (nerve block) in the entire nasal area. While you won’t feel any pain, you will feel pressure as the balloon expands.
What are the side effects of a balloon sinuplasty procedure?
Balloon sinuplasty procedures are minimally invasive, so they don’t produce many side effects. You can expect some minor discomfort after the procedure. Drainage from the nose is also common, and this drainage may contain some blood. Finally, nasal congestion may temporarily remain or get worse after the procedure before getting better, as is common with procedures involving the nose.
How long does it take to recover from a balloon sinuplasty?
Because it’s an outpatient procedure, you can usually go back to your normal routine the next day; just be sure to follow your doctor’s orders on how long to avoid exercise or other irritating activities.
Can a balloon sinuplasty help sleep apnea?
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. Balloon sinuplasty helps open up the sinuses, relieving congestion, and relieving sleep apnea. Whether it will help varies from person to person depending on the cause of their sleep apnea and what other treatment options have been tried already. Your ENT doctor can help you determine if a balloon sinuplasty can help sleep apnea in your particular case.
Is balloon sinus dilation permanent?
The short answer is yes! The long answer lies in the way the procedure works. We mentioned above that space is created within the sinuses when the balloon expands. Now what happens exactly is that the bones within the nose — small, thin bones — crack, then heal in the new more spacious position. The procedure is expected to permanently open up your sinuses.
How much does balloon sinus surgery cost?
According to RealSelf, which compiles the costs that real patients paid, this kind of surgery costs an average of $4,700 but can cost as much as $20,000. Of course, this number varies widely depending on the type of insurance coverage a person has, among other factors. Insurance companies often cover at least a portion of the surgery once your doctor deems it necessary, but you will likely owe copays or have to pay some money upfront towards your deductible. The best way to find out how much your out-of-pocket expenses will be is to work together with your doctor’s office and insurance company.
Still curious to know more? Want to watch a video of the actual procedure? Check out our Instagram post here where you can see Dr. Fisher perform a balloon sinuplasty on a patient!