Balloon Sinuplasty: Sinus Relief Surgery


If you’re suffering from chronic sinusitis symptoms and aren’t responding to medication, you may want to consider balloon sinuplasty.

Balloon sinuplasty is different from traditional sinus surgery because there’s no cutting, and your doctor doesn’t have to remove any bone or tissue. This safe, minimally invasive procedure can also be done in your doctor’s office, making it convenient and comfortable.

The Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

Your ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist will use a small, flexible balloon catheter to open blocked sinuses and help drain the mucus buildup. There are four simple steps to the procedure:

  1. Your ENT will insert a balloon catheter into your swollen sinus cavity.
  2. The balloon is inflated to widen the cavity opening.
  3. Saline is sprayed into your sinus cavity to flush out mucus.
  4. The balloon catheter is removed, leaving your sinuses open and clear.

You can have the procedure done at the hospital or in your ENT’s office. If you’re at the hospital, you can be asleep with anesthesia. In the doctor’s office, you’ll be awake with local anesthesia.

When appropriate, your ENT may combine traditional endoscopic sinus surgery with ballooning of certain sinuses to have the best of both techniques.

Potential Side Effects from Sinus Surgery

Even though it’s minimally invasive, balloon sinuplasty is still a surgery. Any surgery has risks, but clinical data shows balloon sinuplasty is generally safe and effective. Reported complications from the procedure have been minimal.

The biggest concern is intracranial complications, which are rare. There’s also a small chance that your nose might look slightly different after surgery.

Recovering from Balloon Sinuplasty

Recovery time from balloon sinuplasty is fast. 

Most patients are able to return to normal activities within a day or two.

During the week after surgery, you may notice some bloody drainage from your nose. You might also feel tired and congested. This is completely normal.

Sometimes it helps relieve discomfort from drainage if you sleep with your head elevated.

If you have recurrent sinus infections, talk to your primary care doctor about your concerns. He or she can do the proper testing and refer you to an ENT. You’ll also want to check with your insurance company to see if balloon sinuplasty is covered.

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