If you have severe sinusitis and aren’t finding relief, then it’s important to know that the balloon sinuplasty can help. The balloon sinuplasty is an effective procedure that was FDA-approved in 2005. It’s considered a very effective way to treat sinusitis at the same time as other front line treatment options. For many patients, it’s often covered by insurance.
What is the balloon sinuplasty?
Since there is no cutting or a loss of bone or nasal tissues, it is considered to be minimally invasive. The procedure involves dilation of the openings of the nasal sinuses. During sinusitis, the sinus tissues become inflammed and block the passageways that normally allow the sinuses to drain infected fluids.
What happens during the procedure?
At the beginning of the procedure, you’ll be given a local anesthetic so you’re relaxed and comfortable. Your ENT specialist will then insert a thin, flexible, plastic tube called an endoscope. It has a light and camera at the end. Once inserted into the nasal passages, your ENT specialist leads it to the cavity entrance. A tiny balloon catheter is advanced over the guiding endoscope wire.
Once in position, the balloon is slowly inflated. This causes the swollen sinus tissues to dilate and allow for drainage. The balloon is then removed and the sinus will drain naturally. The procedure takes about one hour to perform and most patients report little to no discomfort. You can return to your regular schedule afterward.
Does the balloon sinuplasty work?
The balloon sinuplasty is becoming an increasingly popular choice for chronic sinusitis that doesn’t respond to other treatments. During 2011 to 2014, the popularity of use in the US has increased by 59 percent.
Followup studies show that the balloon sinuplasty is very successful. A study conducted in 2016 discovered that 15 adults undergoing the procedure all showed improved symptoms within three to six months following the surgery. It was also concluded that the same patients had more open and clear nasal passages following the surgery as opposed to before the procedure. It was also determined that the balloon sinuplasty helped to preserve healthy nasal tissues in addition to the mucous membranes and nasal structure.
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This procedure is considered to be safe and effective when performed by an ENT specialist. Since first being used for sinus treatment, it has become one of the most effective ways to treat sinus issues. To learn more about your treatment options for sinusitis, meet with our expert team by calling our Tuscaloosa office or filling out our online form.