Blocked sinuses can be a problem, especially when they seem to be blocked all of the time. When other treatments have been ineffective, many ENT doctors will discuss the possibility of balloon sinuplasty. This procedure is relatively straightforward for those with chronic sinusitis, which is why many people choose it.
When you are considering the procedure for you or someone you know who suffers from blocked sinuses, you need to know more. We're here to tell you more about what the procedure is, how it can help, and help to determine who is a candidate. From there, we look forward to scheduling an appointment to discuss the process with you in detail.
What is a Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty has a few other names, including the "smart sinus" procedure and balloon catheter dilation surgery. It has been approved by the FDA since 2005, making it one of the most effective solutions to deal with clearing blocked sinuses.
The procedure is identified as minimally invasive since it doesn't involve cutting or removing bones or tissue. It can be performed in our office at C/V ENT Surgical group under local anesthesia.
The balloon sinuplasty procedure involves inserting a micro-flashlight at the end of a wire into the sinus cavity, allowing the doctor to see what's going on. A slender, flexible balloon catheter will be inserted into the sinus passage as well. From there, a balloon is slowly inflated, expanding of the sinus opening.
Once the sinus opening is expanded, built up plus and mucus will be flushed out of the sinus cavity using a saline solution. The decrease in pressure will be felt as this happens. While the balloon is inflated inside of the sinus passage, it provides a gentle restructure to the bones. The balloon is, then, removed, creating a widened sinus passage without any further built-up pressure.
The side effects are usually nominal. This includes tenderness around the nose and cheek area, a bit of remaining congestion, and some bloody drainage for a few days. There may also be some minor swelling within the nasal cavities based on just how blocked you were. When the sinus opening needs to be expanded dramatically, it can result in more tenderness and swelling for a few days. However, after a few days have passed, you should be able to see and feel a notable difference in the way that you are able to breathe, sleep, and enjoy your health.
How can the procedure help?
When you (or someone you know) are experiencing inflammation of the sinuses and the nasal cavity, it can be extremely aggravating. There may be a buildup of mucus, making it difficult to breathe and even speak.
Chronic rhinosinusitis can impact your day-to-day activities. It can lead to headaches, constant sinus drainage, and various other problems. It can also create other medical problems, including sore throat, fatigue, and swelling around the eyes, nose, and forehead. By opening up the sinus passage, those symptoms can be relieved almost immediately.
When you have tried other solutions, including prescription nasal sprays and massage, balloon sinuplasty can provide you with the relief that you need once and for all. It not only allows the built-up mucus and pus to leave your system, but it also rebuilds your sinus passage so that it is wider. This will make it easier to avoid rhinosinusitis and sinusitis in the future because your anatomy has changed, allowing for natural discharge of the fluid.
With sinusitis affecting approximately 13% of the population, it is one of the most common reasons for people to visit physician offices. It also creates lost productivity at work and why so many antibiotics are prescribed.
Particularly with chronic sinusitis, there is the need to use antibiotic therapy and decongestants regularly. This can cause the body to build up a tolerance for the various drugs, leading to ineffectiveness. When this happens, it's important to explore various other solutions that will provide a permanent fix – and balloon sinuplasty can be the permanent solution that can work for you.
There are also many benefits that come with balloon sinuplasty in comparison to the traditional, more invasive nasal surgeries.
- Quick recovery time
- Bone and tissues stay intact
- Minimal bleeding
- Reduced pain
- In-office versus in a hospital
The cost can be considerably lower than other nasal surgeries because local anesthesia is used. There's no need for an overnight stay or expensive operating fees. In many instances, the costs are covered, at least in part, by insurance because of the relief that it can provide to a patient – especially when they have been suffering from sinusitis for extended periods of time.
With very few side effects, it can reduce the downtime that you have from the procedure. You can be back to work the next day in many instances. Plus, you can avoid sinus blockages again, allowing you to lead a more productive life without constantly visiting the ENT for nasal sprays and other prescription drugs. You will have the relief because of being able to drain naturally thanks to the expanded nasal passage.
Who is a candidate?
A number of people can be a candidate for receiving balloon sinuplasty, though it is ultimately the decision of an experienced ENT. With more than 37 million people suffering from sinusitis every year, it may be necessary to explore the procedure so that you can get nasal relief. It's particularly ideal if you are a chronic sufferer. Even if you get periodic relief only to be blocked once again, you may want to look at a more permanent solution than constantly massaging your sinuses or using prescription nasal sprays.
Do you have moderate to mild sinusitis? If you do, it may be a good idea to make an appointment to discuss the procedure with your ENT.
The balloon sinuplasty procedure is relatively straightforward, where the balloon is inserted and, then, inflated. However, if a person has severe nasal abnormalities, the procedure may not work properly. Often, those with deviated nasal septums that are crooked or off to one side will prevent access to the sinus passage, making it difficult to provide the procedure.
A physical exam will be performed to identify what the sinus passage looks like. Those who don't have an overgrowth of tissue or polyps are generally good candidates.
Personal preference has a big part in whether a person is a candidate or not, too. Local anesthesia is used for an in-office procedure. However, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of a balloon being inflated inside of their nasal passage. By coming in to talk with one of our ENTs, we can provide a detailed explanation as to how the procedure works while talking about risks that are involved. Typically, there may be a small amount of blood draining from the sinuses after the procedure. After that, a person should be able to start noticing all of the benefits.
Seek More Information Today
If you or someone you know can benefit from a balloon sinuplasty procedure, reach out to us at the C/V ENT Surgical Group. We have a number of doctors who specialize in the procedure, making it possible to overcome various nasal problems. As a minimally invasive surgery, it can be the permanent fix that you have been searching for.
We will be able to talk to you about everything that balloon sinuplasty can do and determine whether you're a candidate. This can be a solution when you're tired of dealing with the blocked sinuses and all of the symptoms that come with it.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out if you or a loved one is a candidate. From there, we can talk to you about the benefits, the risks, and schedule you for the procedure.