What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is an endoscopic procedure that involves the use of balloon catheters that are guided through the nostril into the nasal passages to remove fluid and debris from congested sinuses. The procedure does not require any excision of bone or soft tissue and has a very short recovery time.
Indications for Balloon Sinuplasty
Balloon sinuplasty is an advanced and innovative procedure that is indicated for severe and chronic sinusitis that does not improve with other treatments such as decongestant medications, sinus rinses, and corticosteroids.
How Balloon Sinuplasty Works
Patients with chronic sinusitis have inflamed or swollen mucosal linings that prevent drainage of mucus or pus from the sinus cavity causing painful symptoms. Balloon sinuplasty enables your doctor to open up the blocked sinus passages by endoscopically inserting balloon catheters within the sinus cavities and inflating them to widen the opening of the sinus cavity allowing drainage of the congested material.
Preparation for Balloon Sinuplasty
Your doctor will give you specific instructions. In general, you should:
- Inform your doctor of your medical history and any regular medications, vitamins, or supplements; as some of them will need to be temporarily stopped.
- Avoid eating one hour before the procedure
- Use of a nasal decongestant may be recommended prior to the procedure.
Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure
The balloon sinuplasty involves the following steps:
- The procedure may be performed under general or local anesthesia.
- An endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a camera and a light source, is inserted through the nostrils to examine the nasal passages and place a balloon catheter into the sinus.
- The balloon catheter is then inflated to widen the sinus opening.
- The sinus cavity and passageway will then be flushed with a saline solution to clear the congestion.
- The balloon catheter is then deflated and removed allowing the sinus to drain naturally.
- Balloon Sinuplasty Post-Procedure Care
- You can return home on the same day as the procedure after the effects of anesthesia wear off and can return to routine activities after 1-2 days. There may be some nasal discharge and swelling which should resolve within 5-7 days.
Side Effects of Balloon Sinuplasty
Balloon sinuplasty is a generally well-tolerated procedure with minimal side effects that include:
- Cheek, nose, and forehead tenderness
- Swelling of the nasal mucosa
- Nasal bleeding
- Infection of the sinus
Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty
The benefits of balloon sinuplasty compared to endoscopic sinus surgery include:
- Minimal injury to adjacent healthy tissues
- Less risk of scarring or postoperative infection
- Reduced need for pain medications after the procedure
- Less risk of bleeding
- Faster recovery