There’s good news for sinus sufferers: a breakthrough medical procedure could have you breathing a little easier in just one trip to the doctor’s office. Balloon sinusplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure that provides long-term relief from chronic sinusitis. It can be performed in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia, and only takes about an hour to complete.
Sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinuses, affects 40 million Americans every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include:
- Facial pressure
- Nasal drainage
Sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks is considered chronic and should be treated by an ear, nose and throat specialist.
Traditional surgical treatments for chronic sinusitis involved using endoscopic instruments to shave larger openings in the sinuses. However, this method caused trauma to the surrounding tissues and increased recovery time. Balloon sinusplasty uses a flexible balloon probe to dilate the openings of the sinuses without scraping away tissue.
During balloon sinusplasty, the patient is given a sedative and the nasal cavity is numbed with local anesthetic. As the patient sits reclined in the operating chair, a flexible balloon probe is inserted through the nose and into the sinus passages. Once the affected area is reached, the balloon probe is inflated with a water solution. The expansion of the balloon creates micro fractures in the bones surrounding the sinuses, and the area is dilated.
Recovery from the balloon procedure is minimal compared to traditional sinus surgery. There is very little pain or bleeding, and the patient can resume normal activities within just a couple of days (Source: Sioux City Journal).
If you suffer from chronic or recurrent sinusitis, talk to your doctor about what treatment options will work best for you. Balloon sinusplasty is not for everyone, but your doctor can determine if you are a qualified candidate. Don’t let your sinuses get the best of you any longer. Find an ENT who can help put you on the path to long-term sinus relief.