Balloon sinus dilation, also known as balloon sinuplasty, is a minimally invasive procedure that treats chronic sinus inflammation. Because it doesn’t involve cutting, removal of nasal tissue or bone and has a short recovery time, it is an attractive option for many who suffer from recurring sinus problems.
How Does Balloon Sinus Dilation Work?
This procedure was adapted from angioplasty, wherein balloon catheters are used to dilate congested blood vessels around the heart. Balloon sinus dilation works by dilating the openings of the sinuses and flushing them out with saline solution so they can be cleared and drained.
Balloon sinuplasty is typically performed by an ear, nose and throat physician in a doctor’s office, outpatient clinic or hospital.
First, you receive either local or general anesthesia. Once you’re comfortable, the doctor inserts an endoscope, which is a thin flexible tube with a light and camera at the end, into the nose. When the endoscope reaches the sinus cavity, a small balloon catheter is inserted.
Once positioned, the balloon is slowly inflated until it is pressing against the sinus walls. Then the doctor flushes the passageways with a saline rinse to remove any mucus, pus and discharge that is causing discomfort.
The balloon is removed and the sinuses can drain naturally. The entire procedure takes about one hour.
Is Balloon Sinus Dilation Safe?
Balloon sinus dilation was approved by the FDA in 2005 and is now covered by most insurance companies. It is considered highly safe and effective, and it has become one of the most commonly performed sinus surgeries.
Benefits of balloon sinus dilation over traditional sinus surgery include:
- Lower risk of bleeding.
- Shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time.
- No removal of sinus or nasal tissue or bone.
- Fewer post-op appointments.
- Reduced need for pain medications.
- Reduced need for general anesthesia.
- Reduced risk of post-op infection.
- Reduced risk of scarring and inflammation.
Side effects tend to be minor and include:
- Bloody drainage.
- Facial tenderness and swelling.
- Rarely, infection or reduced sense of smell.
Who Can Benefit from Balloon Sinus Dilation?
You may benefit from balloon sinuplasty if you…
- Have had chronic or reoccurring sinus infections.
- Don’t experience relief from decongestants or other medications.
- Don’t have anatomical issues like a deviated septum or nasal polyps that are causing your sinus problems.
If you’re ready to be able to stop and smell the flowers at Normanskill Farm and find relief from sinus pain and pressure, call the experts at Albany ENT & Allergy Services today.