Balloon sinus surgery, also referred to as Balloon Sinuplasty or Balloon Sinus Dilation, is a safe and effective procedure for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis.
Unlike traditional sinus surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty does not require cutting or removal of bone and tissue from the nose. It also does not involve an operating room or the use of general anesthesia.
Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional sinus surgery.The procedure is performed in-office with a technique that uses a thin, flexible balloon catheter to gently open blocked sinus passageways.
Inspired by a similar concept in cardiovascular medicine, Balloon Sinuplasty draws on the same basic method as angioplasty, a common procedure used to open blocked arteries. Recent studies have found balloon sinus procedures to be equally successful as traditional sinus surgery. Patients achieve significant improvement in sinus symptoms and the sinuses remain open in the majority of cases.
What it Works to Relieve
More than 37 million Americans are estimated to suffer from chronic sinusitis. Although there are several types and multiple causes of sinusitis, blockage of the sinus passageways is the most important factor.
Chronic sinusitis is distinct from acute sinusitis, a temporary sinus infection lasting less than 4 weeks. Chronic sinusitis, however, can be more difficult to treat and the signs and symptoms last greater than 3 months.
These symptoms commonly include, nasal drainage, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, cough, headache, facial pain, ear pain, fatigue and many others.
Diagnosis of chronic sinusitis is made based on a combination of signs, symptoms and duration of illness, specifically when infection is present for longer than 12 weeks.
Severe complications associated with chronic infections can occur when sinus disease is left untreated. Physicians may recommend sinus surgery to patients who suffer from refractory chronic sinusitis or when a patient’s chronic sinusitis does not resolve with maximal medical treatment and long-term antibiotics.
Balloon sinus surgery serves to restore normal sinus structure and function, reducing the risk and frequency of infections. The procedure also helps relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of chronic sinusitis.
After undergoing the procedure, the majority of patients report meaningful improvement in sinus symptoms and their quality of life.
How the Process Works
Balloon Sinus surgery involves a few simple steps. The length of the procedure may vary depending on the individual, but typically only takes a little over an hour. Patients may receive a local anesthesia before the procedure begins.
First, a very thin, flexible guide wire is gently inserted into the inflamed sinus. The small Sinus Balloon Catheter smoothly tracks along the guide wire until reaching the blocked area.
The physician then gradually inflates the Sinus Balloon Catheter to gently restructure and expand the sinus opening. The inflated Sinus Balloon Catheter widens the walls of the sinus passageway without damaging the sinus lining.
Once the process is complete, the guide wire and Sinus Balloon Catheter are then removed. The blocked osmium remains open, allowing normal sinus function and drainage to return.
The recovery time after Balloon Sinuplasty is typically short. Most patients are able to return to work and normal activities in as little as two days.
However, recovery times vary by individual. Patients are advised to gradually increase activity level and avoid over doing it following surgery.
To decrease discomfort and prevent scar tissue from forming, patients should follow an irrigation regimen, or saltwater rinse of the sinuses, during the postoperative period. A physician will provide additional guidance based on the patient’s individual circumstances and needs.
Dr. Karanfilov has published clinical studies that show in-office Balloon Sinuplasty to be safe, effective, and well tolerated by patients. No major complications have been reported.
If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, speak with your physician to find out if Balloon Sinuplasty may be the right option for you to provide the sinus relief you deserve.