Balloons can help liven up a party and provide whimsical décor; did you know they can also help those suffering from chronic sinus infections find relief? Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and effective procedure that has been helping people since it received FDA approval in 2005.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis?
Balloon Sinuplasty is approved to help those suffering from chronic sinusitis. This condition occurs when the hollow cavities within your skull, known as your sinuses, become swollen and inflamed for more than three months despite treatment. Symptoms include:
- Postnasal drip
- Nasal congestion
- Facial pain and pressure
- Nasal discharge
- Ear pain
- Tooth pain
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon Sinuplasty is a simple in-office procedure. A specially designed balloon called a catheter, rather than a normal latex balloon you can purchase from Zurcher’s, is inserted into the inflamed sinus. The balloon is then inflated to open up the sinus. Saline spray is sprayed into the inflamed sinus to help flush out any pus or mucus. Finally, the balloon is deflated and removed, leaving a newly cleaned and widened cavity behind.
Unlike traditional sinus surgery, this procedure does not require an incision or any bone or tissue to be removed.
What to Expect
Knowing exactly what to expect throughout the entire process can help you feel more comfortable. The out-patient procedure usually takes only one to two hours to complete.
Day of Surgery
You will receive a final evaluation and screening before your procedure can begin. This includes a physical exam, lab tests and vital collection. You will also meet with your anesthesiologist to discuss what anesthesia you will be given.
During the Procedure
Most patients receive general anesthesia. While you are asleep your doctor will insert an endoscope with a camera on the end into the affected sinus through your nostril. They will use a guiding thread to position the balloon in place. The balloon is inflated, the area is cleaned, and the balloon is then removed along with the endoscope and any other equipment.
After the Procedure
You will be monitored by a medical team following the procedure. After spending a few hours in the recovery room, you will have one final consultation with a team member before being discharged.
Complete recovery takes about three weeks following the procedure. During that time, it is important to get plenty of rest, drink fluids and follow the aftercare instructions given to you by your doctor.
A few weeks following your Balloon Sinuplasty you will attend a follow-up appointment so your doctor can make sure everything is healing correctly.
To learn more about this procedure or to see if you are a good candidate, contact SW Idaho ENT today.