Balloon Sinuplasty is a fairly new surgery, approved by the FDA in 2005, to treat symptoms of rhinosinusitis. More and more medical insurance companies have begun to recognize and fully cover balloon sinuplasty as well, making it an extremely effective and feasible option for those who suffer from chronic sinus infections.
What is a Balloon Sinuplasty?
The official balloon sinuplasty definition is an endoscopic nasal surgery that uses a small balloon catheter to inflate and drain the nasal sinuses. Typically used to treat cases of severe rhinosinusitis and sinus inflammation, the procedure is very effective.
One myth associated with balloon sinuplasty is that it is an invasive and unsafe procedure. However, because balloon sinuplasty involves no cutting or removal of tissues or bones, the procedure is minimally invasive and has a short recovery time. It is one of the most frequently performed sinus surgeries because of its high rate of success and low risk of complication. More side effects of the procedure include:
· Bloody nasal drainage for a few days
· Tenderness in the nose, cheeks, or forehead
· Minor swelling in the face
· Infection, which is usually from a failure to properly cleanse and care of the sinuses after the surgery
If you suffer from chronic or severe sinusitis that does not respond to typical sinusitis treatments such as decongestants, nasal sprays, antibiotics, or corticosteroids, a balloon sinuplasty might be a great option for you.
What to Expect from a Balloon Sinuplasty
The balloon sinuplasty procedure was developed from the angioplasty, a procedure in which balloon catheters are used to dilate congested or damaged blood vessels near the heart. A balloon sinuplasty works the same way with the nose. It dilates the openings of some or all three of the major nasal sinuses, which enables them to be cleared and drained. When the blocked nasal passages are widened during the procedure, doctors can flush out or remove congestion, usually using a saline solution.
Generally, the procedure is done right in the office under general or local anesthesia.
1. A numbing agent will be administered to ensure patient comfort.
2. The doctor will insert an endoscope, which is a thin and flexible tube that allows the doctor to see deep into the nose.
3. Once the endoscope is near the entrance of the cavity, the doctor will insert a small balloon catheter into the nasal passage.
4. Once the balloon catheter is positioned inside the nasal passage and cavity, your doctor will slowly and cautiously inflate the balloon, which forces an opening.
5. When the balloon is fully inflated, your doctor will then flush out the passageways and cavities with a saline rinse to remove debris.
6. The doctor will remove the balloon at the end of the procedure, and the sinus can drain naturally.
Balloon sinuplasty is highly effective, and most patients report improved symptoms within a few months without any unanticipated side effects. The myth that the procedure damages nasal tissues is false. The fact of the matter is that the procedure actually helps to preserve healthy nasal tissues, mucus membranes, and nasal structures.